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Int J Cancer. 2004 Sep 10;111(4):514-21.

Peroxiredoxins, a novel protein family in lung cancer.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland.


Cigarette smoke, the major risk factor for lung cancer, induces an accumulation of reactive oxygen species. These have multiple effects on cell defense, cell proliferation and cell death. Thus, compounds involved in the regulators of redox balance can be hypothesized to play a fundamental role in both carcinogenesis and tumor progression. Here, we have evaluated the expressions of all 6 peroxiredoxins (Prxs I-VI) in lung carcinomas. Prxs represent a protein family with the capability of breaking down hydrogen peroxide; thus, they can participate in cellular antioxidant defense, regulate cell proliferation and increase drug resistance of cultured cells. Altogether 92 cases were investigated by immunohistochemistry, including 32 adenocarcinomas, 45 squamous cell, 9 small cell and 6 other carcinomas. Additionally, 11 cases with adenocarcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma were studied by Western analysis and/or by RT-PCR. Prxs I, II, IV and VI were particularly elevated in lung carcinomas as assessed by immunohistochemistry and/or RT-PCR. Western analysis revealed that Prxs I and IV were significantly elevated in tumors compared to nonmalignant tissue (p = 0.04 and 0.002, respectively). There were remarkable variations in Prx expression in various tumor subtypes, the most striking being Prx IV expression, which was mainly associated with adenocarcinoma. Elevated Prx VI expression was associated with high-grade squamous cell carcinoma (p = 0.03) and Prx II expression, with advanced tumor stage (p = 0.01). Our results suggest that Prxs may have effects on the progression of lung cancer.

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