, Volume 450, Issue 5, pp 519-527
Date: 12 Apr 2007

Expression of nuclear factor κB in human gastric carcinoma: relationship with IκBa and prognostic significance

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Nuclear factor (NF)-κB is a transcription factor constitutively activated in various neoplasms, including gastric carcinoma. However, its clinical significance in the latter remains an unresolved issue, as published information is limited and controversial. Furthermore, no data is available about the interaction of NFκB with its inhibitory protein IκBa in gastric carcinoma cases. In this study, the expression of NFκB1/p50 and pIκBa protein was evaluated immunohistochemically in paraffin-embedded tissues from 93 patients. The effect of NFκB1/p50 and pIκBa on clinical outcome was assessed. Positive immunostaining was detected for nuclear NFκB1/p50, cytoplasmic NFκB1/p50 and pIκBa in 91, 68 and 85.7% of cases, respectively. A positive correlation emerged between nuclear NFκB1/p50 and pIκBa (p < 0.0001) and a negative one between cytoplasmic NFκB1/p50 and pIκBa (p = 0.0033). Nuclear NFκB1/p50 was associated with stage (p = 0.0388), the depth of invasion (p = 0.0382), World Health Organization (WHO; p = 0.0326) and Lauren’s histological classification (p = 0.0046). NFκB1/p50 nuclear expression adversely affected survival in both univariate and multivariate analysis (p < 0.0001 and p = 0.02, respectively). Our results suggest that NFκB1/p50 nuclear expression and therefore activation is regulated by its interaction with IκBa and that the former may serve as a useful independent molecular marker for stratifying patients with gastric carcinoma in terms of prognosis.

G. Levidou, P. Korkolopoulou and N. Nikiteas have equally contributed to this manuscript.