Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) abundance correlates with p53 and Bcl-2 accumulation and patient age in a small cohort of North African nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients.

Abstract

In North Africa, nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is characterized by a bimodal distribution involving a juvenile (≤  30 years old) and an elder population (> 30 years old). The Epstein Barr virus oncogene LMP1, the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 protein and the tumor suppressor p53 have recently emerged as biomarkers of the disease. EGFR/ErbB1 expression is detected in the majority of NPC tumors with advanced disease. To obtain greater insight into the potential oncogenic mechanisms specific to these two NPC populations, we examined the correlation between EGFR expression and patient age, and determined the molecular profiles of its associations with the biomarkers of NPC. We performed an immunohistochemical analysis of the latter molecules in NPC specimens from eleven Algerian patients (six patients  ≤  30 years of age and five patients > 30 years of age) using the LSAB method. Evaluation of the biopsies, based on the intensity of staining and the percentage of positive cells, showed that LMP1 expression was higher in patients under 30 years of age. Conversely, EGFR, like Bcl-2 and p53, was significantly up-regulated in tumors from elderly patients. Analysis of all tumors showed that EGFR expression was constantly (100%) associated with high p53 nuclear accumulation and Bcl-2 expression in LMP1-positive tissues. Biopsies negative for Bcl-2 staining were found to display low amounts of p53 (100%), and to be constantly negative for EGFR (100%). Molecular classification of all NPC tissues showed that the majority of patients displaying a EGFR+/LMP1+/Bcl-2+/p53-high molecular pattern were in the older age group. On the other hand, the most of the EGFR negative results were associated with the juvenile form of the disease and were characterized by an important diversity of molecular patterns. Our preliminary results suggest that in Algerian patients, the bimodal distribution of NPC might be related to distinct expression profiles of viral and cellular biomarkers of NPC.

DOI: 10.1684/ecn.2011.0270

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Cite this paper

@article{Bourouba2011EpidermalGF, title={Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) abundance correlates with p53 and Bcl-2 accumulation and patient age in a small cohort of North African nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients.}, author={Mehdi Bourouba and Assia Benyelles-Boufennara and Nadia Terki and Esma Baraka-Kerboua and Kamel Bouzid and Chafia Touil-Boukoffa}, journal={European cytokine network}, year={2011}, volume={22 1}, pages={38-44} }