High level of Nm23-H1 gene expression is associated with local colorectal cancer progression not with metastases

Z. S. Zeng, S. Hsu, Z. F. Zhang, A. M. Cohen, W. E. Enker, A. A. Turnbull, J. G. Guillem

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42 Scopus citations


This study aimed to determine the expression of Nm23-H1 in colorectal cancer and liver metastases and to correlate Nm23-H1 expression with clinicopathological variables. Specimens from 59 primary colorectal cancers and five liver metastases were studied using Northern blot hybridisation. The mean ± s.e. of tumour/normal (T/N) ratio of Nm23-H1 RNA expression was 4.3 ± 0.4 (P < 0.001) and 5.1 ± 0.90 (P < 0.01) for colorectal cancer and liver metastases respectively. No significant relationship was observed between the level of Nm23-H1 RNA and the patient's age, sex, tumour location, differentiation, presence of lymph node involvement or distant metastases. Nm23-H1 RNA level was 2.6 ± 0.5 for tumour size less than 3.0 cm and 4.6 ± 0.5 for those ≥ 3.0 cm (P = 0.05). There appeared to be a trend between increasing relative Nm23-H1 RNA and bowel wall invasion, irrespective of metastatic status (T1 = 1.9 ± 0.3, T2 = 4.1 ± 0.6, T3 = 4.1 ± 0.5 and T4 = 6.4 ± 1.6). This difference was statistically significant when T1 was compared against ≥ T2 lesions (P = 0.01). Western blot analysis reveals two Nm23H-1 bands (17.0 kDa and 18.5 kDa). In 16 colorectal patients, the T/N fold-increase in protein expression was 2.66 ± 0.46 (P < 0.001) and 2.40 ± 0.32 (P < 0.001) for the 17.0 and 18.5 kDa band respectively. Both Nm23-H1 RNA and protein levels in primary colorectal cancers do not appear to correlate with synchronous regional or distant metastases. Since Nm23-H1 RNA expression is associated with increasing tumour size and tumour local invasion, Nm23-H1 RNA expression may be associated with local disease progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1025-1030
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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