Loss of cytoplasmic KLF4 expression is correlated with the progression and poor prognosis of nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Authors

  • Zhen Liu,

    1. Department of Pathology, Basic School of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, China
    2. Cancer Research Institute, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.
  • Huiling Yang,

    1. Cancer Research Institute, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China
    2. School of Pharmacy, Guangdong Medical College, Dongguan, China
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.
  • Weiren Luo,

    1. Cancer Research Institute, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China
    2. Department of Pathology, Guangdong Medical College, Dongguan, China
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.
    • A correction was added on 19/06/2013 following first online publication on 12/06/2013. The author Weiren Luo's name was originally spelled incorrectly as Wenren Luo.
  • Qingping Jiang,

    1. Cancer Research Institute, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China
    2. Third Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical College, Guangzhou, China
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.
  • Chunping Mai,

    1. Cancer Research Institute, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China
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  • Yan Chen,

    1. Cancer Research Institute, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China
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  • Yan Zhen,

    1. Cancer Research Institute, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China
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  • Xiaoli Yu,

    1. Cancer Research Institute, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China
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  • Xiaobin Long,

    Corresponding author
    1. Cancer Research Institute, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China
    2. Otorhinolaryngology of Zhujiang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China
    • Department of Pathology, Basic School of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, China
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  • Weiyi Fang

    Corresponding author
    1. Cancer Research Institute, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China
    • Department of Pathology, Basic School of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, China
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Address for correspondence: W Fang and X Long, Cancer Research Institute, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, China. e-mail: fangweiyi1975@yahoo.com.cn; longfengxb@126.com

Abstract

Aims

To examine, in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), the correlation of Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) expression with clinicopathological features including patient prognosis.

Methods and results

Using real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry, expression of KLF4 mRNA and protein was examined in NPC and nasopharyngeal tissues. The relationship of KLF4 expression levels with clinical features and prognosis of NPC patients was analysed. mRNA expression was markedly lower in NPC than in the nasopharyngeal tissues. Using immunohistochemistry, staining for KLF4 protein was found in the nuclei and cytoplasm of nasopharyngeal and malignant epithelial cells, but decreased cytoplasmic expression was observed in atypical hyperplasia and NPC samples compared to normal and squamous epithelium samples (< 0.001). In addition, levels of cytoplasmic KLF4 protein were correlated inversely with the nodal (N) status (TNM classification; = 0.002) and overall clinical stage (< 0.001) of NPC patients. Patients with NPC showing lower cytoplasmic KLF4 expression had a significantly shorter overall survival time than those with high NPC KLF4 expression. Multivariate analysis suggested that the level of KLF4 expression was an independent prognostic indicator (= 0.008) for NPC survival.

Conclusion

Low levels of cytoplasmic KLF4 expression are a potentially unfavourable prognostic factor for patients with NPC.

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