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Mol Med. 2011 Mar-Apr;17(3-4):163-71. doi: 10.2119/molmed.2010.00056. Epub 2010 Dec 8.

BCL2L12 is a novel biomarker for the prediction of short-term relapse in nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

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  • 1Laboratory of Cancer Genetics and Production of Recombinant Proteins, Sfax Biotechnology Center, Sfax, Tunisia.


BCL2-like 12 (BCL2L12 ) is a new member of the apoptosis-related BCL2 gene family, members of which are implicated in various malignancies. Nasopharyngeal carcinoma is a highly metastatic, malignant epithelial tumor, with a high prevalence in Southeast Asia and North Africa. The purpose of the current study was to quantify and investigate the expression levels of the BCL2L12 gene in nasopharyngeal carcinoma biopsies and to assess its prognostic value. Total RNA was isolated from 89 malignant and hyperplastic nasopharyngeal biopsies from Tunisian patients. After testing the quality of the extracted RNA, cDNA was prepared by reverse transcription. A highly sensitive real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method for BCL2L12 mRNA quantification was developed using SYBR Green chemistry. GAPDH served as a reference gene. Relative quantification analysis was performed using the comparative C(T) (2(-ΔΔCT)) method. Higher BCL2L12 mRNA levels were detected in undifferentiated carcinomas of the nasopharynx, rather than in nonkeratinizing nasopharyngeal tumors (P = 0.045). BCL2L12 expression status was also found to be positively associated with the presence of distant metastases (P = 0.014). Kaplan-Meier survival analysis demonstrated that patients with BCL2L12-positive nasopharyngeal tumors have significantly shorter disease-free survival (P = 0.020). Cox regression analysis showed BCL2L12 expression to be an unfavorable and independent prognostic indicator of short-term relapse in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (P = 0.042). Our results suggest that mRNA expression of BCL2L12 may constitute a novel biomarker for the prediction of short-term relapse in nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

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