Mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase-1 is overexpressed in non-small cell lung cancer and is an independent predictor of outcome in patients
Vicent S., Garayoa M., López-Picazo J.M., Lozano M.D., Toledo G., Thunnissen F.B., Manzano R.G., Montuenga L.M.
Division of Oncology, Center for Applied Medical Research, Clínica Universitaria, Facultad de Medicina, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain
An increase in the activity of the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) has been correlated with a more malignant phenotype in several tumor models in vitro and in vivo. A key regulatory mechanism of the MAPKs [extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK); c-jun NH(2)-terminal kinase (JNK); and p38] is the dual specificity phosphatase CL100, also called MAPK phosphatase-1 (MKP-1). This study was designed to examine the involvement of CL100/MKP-1 and stress-related MAPKs in lung cancer.
We assessed the expression of CL100/MKP-1 and the activation of the MAPKs in a panel of 18 human cell lines [1 primary normal bronchial epithelium, 8 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), 7 small cell lung cancer (SCLC), and 2 carcinoids] and in 108 NSCLC surgical specimens.
In the cell lines, CL100/MKP-1 expression was substantially higher in NSCLC than in SCLC. P-ERK, P-JNK, and P-p38 were activated in SCLC and NSCLC, but the degree of their activation was variable. Immunohistochemistry in NSCLC resection specimens showed high levels of CL100/MKP-1 and activation of the three MAPK compared with normal lung. In univariate analysis, no relationship was found among CL100/MKP-1 expression and P-ERK, P-JNK, or P-p38. Interestingly, high CL100/MKP-1 expression levels independently predicted improved survival in multivariate analysis. JNK activation associated with T(1-2) and early stage, whereas ERK activation correlated with late stages and higher T and N. Neither JNK nor ERK activation were independent prognostic factors when studied for patient survival.
Our data indicate the relevance of MAPKs and CL100/MKP-1 in lung cancer and point at CL100/MKP-1 as a potential positive prognostic factor in NSCLC. Finally, our study supports the search of new molecular targets for lung cancer therapy within the MAPK signaling pathway.
CITATION Clin Cancer Res. 2004 Jun 1;10(11):3639-49