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Mod Pathol. 2007 Apr;20(4):497-507. Epub 2007 Mar 2.

Skp2 is an independent prognosticator of gallbladder carcinoma among p27(Kip1)-interacting cell cycle regulators: an immunohistochemical study of 62 cases by tissue microarray.

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  • 1Division of Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital-Kaohsiung Medical Center, Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.


Despite improvement in surgical techniques, prognosis of gallbladder carcinoma remains poor. It is desirable to identify prognostic biomarkers to aid in the development of targeted therapeutic strategies. Two SCF(Skp2) ubiquitin ligase-related proteins, Skp2 and cyclin-dependent kinase subunit 1 (Cks1), are involved in post-transcriptional degradation of p27(Kip1) tumor suppressor, which inhibits both cdk2/cyclin E and cdk2/cyclin A complexes and thus prevents transition to the S phase. However, the prognostic utility of p27(Kip1)-interacting cell cycle regulators has not been systematically assessed in gallbladder carcinoma. Immunohistochemistry was performed for p27(Kip1), Skp2, Cks1, cyclin E, cyclin A, and Ki-67 in tissue microarrays of 62 gallbladder carcinomas with follow-up. The data were correlated with clinicopathological features and overall survival (OS). The cumulative OS rate for all 62 cases was 42.9% at 3 years. Aberrant labeling indices (LIs) of p27(Kip1) (<20%), cyclin E (>or=5%), cyclin A (>or=5%), Cks1 (>or=40%), and Skp2 (>or=10%) were identified in 29, 58, 66, 21, and 57% of gallbladder carcinomas, respectively. By log-rank tests, downregulation of p27(Kip1) (P=0.0319) and high LIs of Skp2 (P=0.0006), Cks1 (P=0.0460), cyclin E (P=0.0070), and Ki-67 (P=0.0037) were predictive of inferior OS. Furthermore, the combined expression status of Skp2 and Ki-67 robustly defined three prognostically different groups (P=0.0001). In multivariate comparison, Skp2 overexpression represented the strongest independent adverse prognosticator (P=0.004, risk ratio (RR): 5.538), followed by Ki-67 LI >or=50% (P=0.016, RR: 3.254) and American Joint Committee on Cancer stages II-IV (P=0.013, RR: 3.163). In conclusion, aberrations of p27(Kip1)-interacting cell cycle regulators are common in gallbladder carcinomas. Skp2 overexpression is highly representative of biological aggressiveness and independently associated with poor OS, suggesting that it is a promising novel target for therapeutic intervention in aggressive cases. The combined assessment of Skp2 and Ki-67 LIs effectively risk-stratifies gallbladder carcinomas with different prognosis, which is worth being prospectively validated in future study.

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