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Lung Cancer. 2004 Aug;45(2):181-8.

Expression of p53 protein and the apoptotic regulatory molecules Bcl-2, Bcl-XL, and Bax in locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the lung.

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1
Department of Experimental Medicine and Biotechnology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh 160012, India.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Bcl-2 family of proteins plays a critical role in the regulation of apoptosis. This pathway may be dysregulated leading to an altered ratio of pro- and anti-apoptotic molecules, hence rendering cells resistant to chemotherapy. The objective of this study was to understand the role of Bcl-2 family members in mediation of apoptosis in squamous cell carcinoma of the lung.

RESULTS:

Bronchoscopically obtained lung biopsies from 30 cases of histologically proven squamous cell carcinoma of the lung in stage III were assessed for the expression of Bcl-2, Bcl-XL, and Bax at the mRNA and protein levels by semi-quantitative reverse transcription (RT-PCR) and immunohistochemistry. The apoptotic index (AI) was determined by the TUNEL assay. The AI ranged from <0.1 to 6.0% with a median of 1.3%. Bcl-2/Bax transcript ratio ranged from 1.5 to 4.5 and Bcl-XL/Bax from 1.3 to 4.0 indicating increased levels of anti-apoptotic molecules at the transcript levels. There was no correlation of the mRNA levels to the apoptotic index. (Wilcoxon-signed rank test.) Immunohistochemistry for proteins revealed that majority of the tumors were Bax predominated. p53 protein immunohistochemical expression was present in 66% cases. The apoptotic index correlated with Bax expression (P < 0.05; Wilcoxon-signed rank test and chi-square test) but not with Bcl-2, Bcl-XL or p53 levels. There was a positive association of p53 with Bax expression.

CONCLUSION:

The results of this study indicate that in locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the lung, Bax protein is up regulated and determines the level of apoptosis.

PMID:
15246189
DOI:
10.1016/j.lungcan.2004.01.021
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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