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BMC Cancer. 2010 Apr 28;10:164. doi: 10.1186/1471-2407-10-164.

Increased Rac1 activity and Pak1 overexpression are associated with lymphovascular invasion and lymph node metastasis of upper urinary tract cancer.

Author information

1
Department of Urology, Dokkyo Medical University, Mibu, Tochigi, Japan. kamait@dokkyomed.ac.jp

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Lymphovascular invasion (LVI) and lymph node metastasis are conventional pathological factors associated with an unfavorable prognosis of urothelial carcinoma of the upper urinary tract (UC-UUT), but little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying LVI and nodal metastasis in this disease. Rac1 small GTPase (Rac1) is essential for tumor metastasis. Activated GTP-bound Rac1 (Rac1 activity) plays a key role in activating downstream effectors known as Pak (21-activated kinase), which are key regulators of cytoskeletal remolding, cell motility, and cell proliferation, and thus have a role in both carcinogenesis and tumor invasion.

METHODS:

We analyzed Rac1 activity and Pak1 protein expression in matched sets of tumor tissue, non-tumor tissue, and metastatic lymph node tissue obtained from the surgical specimens of 108 Japanese patients with UC-UUT.

RESULTS:

Rac1 activity and Pak1 protein levels were higher in tumor tissue and metastatic lymph node tissue than in non-tumor tissue (both P < 0.0001). A high level of Rac1 activity and Pak1 protein expression in the primary tumor was related to poor differentiation (P < 0.05), muscle invasion (P < 0.01), LVI (P < 0.0001), and lymph node metastasis (P < 0.0001). Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed that an increase of Rac1 activity and Pak1 protein was associated with a shorter disease-free survival time (P < 0.01) and shorter overall survival (P < 0.001). Cox proportional hazards analysis revealed that high Rac1 activity, Pak1 protein expression and LVI were independent prognostic factors for shorter overall and disease-free survival times (P < 0.01) on univariate analysis, although only Pak1 and LVI had an influence (P < 0.05) according to multivariate analysis.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings suggest that Rac1 activity and Pak1 are involved in LVI and lymph node metastasis of UC-UUT, and may be prognostic markers for this disease.

PMID:
20426825
PMCID:
PMC2873391
DOI:
10.1186/1471-2407-10-164
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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