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J Pathol. 2008 Jul;215(3):222-30. doi: 10.1002/path.2347.

Elevated expression of SerpinA1 and SerpinA3 in HLA-positive cervical carcinoma.

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Department of Pathology, Leiden University Medical Center, PO Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands.


In cervical cancer, an important mechanism by which tumour cells escape immune surveillance is loss of HLA class I, enabling tumours to evade recognition and lysis by cytotoxic T lymphocytes. Some tumours, however, escape from immune surveillance without accumulating defects in antigen presentation. We hypothesized that tumours with no or partial loss of HLA class I develop alternative mechanisms to prevent immune elimination. To investigate this hypothesis, genome-wide expression profiling using Illumina arrays was performed on cervical squamous cell carcinomas showing overall loss of HLA class I, partial, and normal HLA class I protein expression. Statistical analyses revealed no significant differences in gene expression between tumours with partial (n = 11) and normal HLA class I expression (n = 10). Comparison of tumours with normal/partial HLA class I expression (n = 21) with those with overall loss of HLA class I expression (n = 11) identified 150 differentially expressed genes. Most of these genes were involved in the defence response (n = 27) and, in particular, inflammatory and acute phase responses. Especially SerpinA1 and SerpinA3 were found to be up-regulated in HLA-positive tumours (3.6- and 8.2-fold, respectively), and this was confirmed by real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry. In a group of 117 tumours, high SerpinA1 and SerpinA3 expression in association with normal/partial HLA expression correlated significantly with poor overall survival (p = 0.035 and p = 0.05, respectively). Thus, HLA-positive tumours are characterized by higher expression of genes associated with an inflammatory profile. In addition, expression of the acute phase proteins SerpinA1 and SerpinA3 in HLA-positive tumours is associated with worse prognosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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