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Oncol Rep. 2014 Jan;31(1):103-10. doi: 10.3892/or.2013.2846. Epub 2013 Nov 13.

Morphological and quantitative analysis of BCL6 expression in human colorectal carcinogenesis.

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Department of Biomedical, Metabolic and Neurosciences, Section of Human Morphology, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.


The aim of the present study was to determine whether BCL6 is expressed during malignant transformation of the large bowel and to assess whether, and to what extent, immunoreactivity is related to the different stages of neoplastic progression. Samples of normal colorectal mucosa (n=22), microadenomas (n=22) and colorectal cancer (n=22), were analyzed by immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence coupled with confocal microscopy and western blotting. Our results clearly outlined the marked increase occurring in both intensity and density of BCL6 protein expression in the normal mucosa-microadenoma-carcinoma sequence. Immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence analyses showed that BCL6 is expressed at low levels in normal mucosa and increases in microadenoma and in cancer with statistical significance. These results were confirmed by western blotting data. The increasing expression of BCL6 in human colorectal cancer development suggests the involvement of BCL6 in tumor progression, from the earliest stages of carcinogenesis with significant increase in cancer. The enhanced understanding of the biological role of BCL6, previously shown to exert a key role in lymphomagenesis, may lead to a re-evaluation of this protein and may highlight the importance of performing further studies in order to identify novel therapeutic targets for colorectal cancer.

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