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Oncogenesis. 2016 Jan 18;5:e187. doi: 10.1038/oncsis.2015.51.

Uncoupling of EGFR-RAS signaling and nuclear localization of YBX1 in colorectal cancer.

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Institute of Pathology, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
DKTK, German Consortium for Translational Cancer Research, Partner site Berlin and DKFZ, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany.
Institute of Human Genetics and Anthropology, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany.
EPO, Experimental Pharmacology & Oncology Berlin-Buch GmbH, Berlin, Germany.


The transcription factor YBX1 can act as a mediator of signals transmitted via the EGFR-RAS-MAPK axis. YBX1 expression has been associated with tumor progression and prognosis in multiple types of cancer. Immunohistochemical studies have revealed dependency between YBX1 expression and individual EGFR family members. We analyzed YBX1 and EGFR family proteins in a colorectal cancer (CRC) cohort and provide functional analyses of YBX1 in the context of EGFR-RAS-MAPK signaling. Immunohistochemistry for YBX1 and EGFR family receptors with two antibodies for YBX1 and EGFR were performed and related to clinicopathological data. We employed Caco2 cells expressing an inducible KRASV12 gene to determine effects on localization and levels of YBX1. Mouse xenografts of Caco2-KRASV12 cells were used to determine YBX1 dynamics in a tissue context. The two different antibodies against YBX1 showed discordant immunohistochemical stainings in cell culture and clinical specimens. Expression of YBX1 and EGFR family members were not correlated in CRC. Analysis of Caco2 xenografts displayed again heterogeneity of YBX1 staining with both antibodies. Our results suggest that YBX1 is controlled via complex regulatory mechanisms involving tumor stroma interaction and signal transduction processes. Our study highlights that YBX1 antibodies have different specificities, advocating their use in a combined manner.

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