Published online Aug 15, 2002. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v8.i4.613
Revised: February 4, 2002
Accepted: February 9, 2002
Published online: August 15, 2002
AIM: To detect the expression pattern of FAK (focal adhesion kinase) and integrin α5 and β1 subunits in different kinds of cancerous tissues and to study their correlation with clinicopathological data including tumor type, grade and lymph node status.
METHODS: Using an immunohistochemical technique, we examined the expression of FAK and integrin and 1 subunits in cancerous and noncancerous tissues obtained from 75 patients with gastric carcinomas, 21 colorectal carcinomas, 16 hepatocellular carcinomas, 20 uterocervical carcinomas, and 20 breast carcinomas.
RESULTS: The staining of FAK was stronger in cancerous than in noncancerous areas. Enhanced expression of FAKwas detected in poor-differentiated carcinoma of the stomach and colorectum. Tumors with lymph node metastases had more FAK protein than those without metastases. In addition, the deeper the extent of tumor infiltration, the higher the FAK expression. The expression of integrin α5 and β1 subunits was lower in cancerous areas than in noncancerous areas, but it was higher in well-differentiated cancerous tissues than in poor differentiated tissues. The relationship between the expression of integrin α5 and β1 subunits and infiltration or metastasis was not significant. Cancerous tissues with stronger FAK expression (++ or +++) also had a higher expression of integrin α5 and β1 subunits in the tumor and its unaffected margins.
CONCLUSION: FAK is a better marker for carcinogenesis and the progression of cancer than integrin α5 or β1 subunit, and it may be not only a transformation-linked enzyme but also a progression-linked enzyme.