Clinical & Experimental Metastasis

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 271–290 | Cite as

Identification of canonical NFκB (C-NFκB) pathway in uveal melanoma and their relation with patient outcome

  • Mithalesh Kumar Singh
  • Lata Singh
  • Neelam Pushker
  • Neeru Saini
  • Rachna Meel
  • Kunzang Chosdol
  • Sameer Bakhshi
  • Seema Sen
  • Pradeep Venkatesh
  • Bhavna Chawla
  • Jasbir Kaur
  • Seema KashyapEmail author
Research Paper


Inflammation in uveal melanoma (UM) is linked to a bad prognosis. It is rare type of cancer, of which the metastases are usually fatal within a year. Infiltration with an inflammatory infiltrate increases with disease progression but does not seem to inhibit metastasis. The Canonical NFκB (C-NFκB) pathway is known to play a crucial role in tumor inflammation. We therefore, studied the expression of canonical NFκB proteins and their prognostic relevance in UM. Our study evaluated the expression of C-NFκB proteins (p65, p50, and c-Rel) by using immunohistochemistry on sections from 75 formalin-fixed UM. Activation of the NFκB subunit was determined on fresh tumor specimens by measuring the DNA-binding activity in nuclei using an NFκB ELISA assay. Real-time PCR was performed on frozen material on 58 tumors. The presence of native C-NFκB heterodimers (p65/p50 and c-Rel/p50) was confirmed by co-immunoprecipitation followed by Western blotting. We observed a high nuclear immunoreactivity of p65, p50, and c-Rel proteins in 54, 60 and 41% UM cases, respectively. Expression of C-NFκB proteins significantly correlated with parameters which are related to the inflammatory environment of UM. Nuclear immunoreactivity of p65 and p50 was associated with lower patient survival (p = 0.041; p = 0.048) while c-Rel was not. Our finding reveals that C-NFκB proteins expressed are more often in UM with inflammation than those without inflammation. Activation of the canonical NFκB pathway is more frequent in high risk UM patients. These observations might help to understand the behaviour of high risk tumors, with upregulation of C-NFκB proteins contributing to tumor aggressiveness.


Uveal melanoma NFκB Inflammation Immunohistochemistry p65/p50 c-Rel/p50 heterodimer 



We are very grateful to Mr. Pankaj Kumar for his excellent technical assistance.

Author contributions

MKS and SK are responsible for the conception or design of the work; MKS, LS, KC, NS, and JK contributes the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; NP, BC, RM and PV provides the tissue samples; SB, RM Helps in the follow up of the patients; SS helps in reviewing the histopathology slides; All authors finally approved the manuscript version to be published. SK is the guarantor of the article.


Mithalesh Kumar Singh supported by Indian Council of Medical Research, which provided a Senior Research Fellowship (SRF) and conducted this research with Grant No. 3/2/2/327/2015-NCD-III.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

Ethical approval obtained from the Institute’s Ethical Committee, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (Ref. No. IESC/T-417/2015) and carried out by the declaration of Helsinki principles.

Research involving human participants and informed consent

Written consent obtained from all the patients.

Supplementary material

10585_2019_9969_MOESM1_ESM.tif (133 kb)
Supplementary material 1—Supplementary Figure 1 a Nuclear Immunoreactivity patterns of C-NFκB proteins uveal melanoma; b Relative immunoreactivity patterns of C-NFκB proteins in group I and group II uveal melanoma (TIFF 132 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mithalesh Kumar Singh
    • 1
  • Lata Singh
    • 2
  • Neelam Pushker
    • 3
  • Neeru Saini
    • 4
  • Rachna Meel
    • 3
  • Kunzang Chosdol
    • 5
  • Sameer Bakhshi
    • 6
  • Seema Sen
    • 1
  • Pradeep Venkatesh
    • 3
  • Bhavna Chawla
    • 3
  • Jasbir Kaur
    • 7
  • Seema Kashyap
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Ocular Pathology, Dr. R. P. Centre for Ophthalmic SciencesAll India Institute of Medical SciencesNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Departrment of BiosciencesJamia Millia IslamiaNew DelhiIndia
  3. 3.Department of Ophthalmology, Dr. R. P. Centre for Ophthalmic SciencesAll India Institute of Medical SciencesNew DelhiIndia
  4. 4.Functional Genomics UnitInstitute of Genomics and Integrative BiologyNew DelhiIndia
  5. 5.Department of BiochemistryAIIMSNew DelhiIndia
  6. 6.Department of Medical Oncology, IRCHAIIMSNew DelhiIndia
  7. 7.Department of Ocular Biochemistry, Dr. R. P. Centre for Ophthalmic SciencesAll India Institute of Medical SciencesNew DelhiIndia

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