Expression of metastasis-related nm23-H1 and nm23-H2 genes in ovarian carcinomas: correlation with clinicopathology, EGFR, c-erbB-2, and c-erbB-3 genes, and sex steroid receptor expression
To verity the role of metastasis-related nm23 genes in carcinogenesis and progression of ovarian carcinoma, we analyzed the mRNA levels of the nm23 genes of both isoforms, -H1 and -H2, together with those of the epidermal growth factor receptor, the c-erbB-2, and the c-erbB-3 genes in 45 ovarian carcinomas and 5 benign cystadenomas. Expressions of nm23 gene products/nucleoside diphosphate kinases, epidermal growth factor receptor, erbB-2 protein, and sex steroid receptor status in ovarian
... us in ovarian carcinomas were also examined by immunohistochemistry. The mRNA levels of nm23-H1 and nm23-H2 were higher in carcinoma tissues compared with benign tumors (H1, P < 0.01). The mRNA levels of c-erbB-2 and c-erbB-3 were also elevated in carcinoma tissues, and there was a positive correlation between mRNA levels of the nm23-H1 and the c-erbB-2 genes (r = 0.58; P < 0.05). Correlation of immunohistochemical staining between nucleoside diphosphate kinases and erbB-2 protein was also observed in ovarian carcinoma tissues. Sex steroid receptor positivity was related to a higher expression of nucleoside diphosphate kinases. Expression levels of the nm23 genes in ovarian carcinomas were not related to either histological subtype or local extension and peritoneal dissemination. Among stage III ovarian carcinomas, however, tumors possessing lymph node metastasis showed significantly lower nm23-H1 mRNA levels than those without nodal involvement (P < 0.05). Stage IV carcinomas also exhibited lower nm23-H1 and nm23-H2 expression levels compared with other stages (P < 0.05). These results suggest that expression of the nm23 genes, especially nm23-H1, is activated, accompanied by c-erbB-2 and c-erbB-3 overexpressions, in early stages of the carcinogenic process of ovarian carcinoma and reduction of nm23-H1 expression occurs in association with lymph nodal and/or distant metastasis.