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Biomarkers. 2013 Sep;18(6):516-24. doi: 10.3109/1354750X.2013.819038. Epub 2013 Jul 22.

DUSP 4 expression identifies a subset of colorectal cancer tumors that differ in MAPK activation, regardless of the genotype.

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Lab of Molecular Digestive Oncology, Department of Oncology , KULeuven , Belgium .


As dual-specificity phosphatase (DUSP) expression has been correlated to sensitivity to MEK inhibitors, DUSP expression levels may indicate activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway in many tumor types. In this study, we investigate if DUSP levels can indicate different levels of MAPK activation within colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. In three different CRC patient microarray datasets, we analyzed the expression of DUSP1. DUSP4 and DUSP6 according to mutational status, their correlation with survival and their association with different clinical characteristics. DUSP4 was significantly differentially expressed between all mutational subgroups with the highest expression in BRAF mutated tumors. Moreover, high DUSP4 expression was associated with a worse overall survival and with clinical characteristics typical for BRAF mutant patients. The use of DUSP expression as a predictive biomarker towards MAPK targeted therapy in CRC patients needs further investigation.

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