Evaluation of protein expression pattern of stanniocalcin 2, insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 7, inhibin beta A and four and a half LIM domains 1 in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma
The pathogenesis of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) involves both genetic and environmental factors. Previously, we have carried out gene and protein expression profiling of ESCC using DNA microarrays and mass spectrometry-based quantitative proteomics, respectively. These studies resulted in identification of several potential biomarkers of ESCC, some with known reports of differential expression in the scientific literature and others that were novel observations from our studies. We report systematic validation of selected markers from our studies on a larger cohort of cancer tissue sections by immunohistochemical labeling of tissue microarrays. We have validated expression of insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 7 (IGFBP7), stanniocalcin 2 (STC2), inhibin beta A (INHBA) and four and a half LIM domains 1 (FHL1). Immunohistochemical labeling with anti-stanniocalcin 2 antibody demonstrated its overexpression in 132/140 (94%) cases, IGFBP7 showed overexpression in 127/140 (91%) cases and overexpression of INHBA was observed in 62/105 (59%) of ESCC cases. In contrast, FHL1 expression was observed only in 12/143 (8%) of ESCC cases suggesting its possible involvement in tumor suppression. These data suggest that IGFBP7, INHBA, STC2 and FHL1 might play an important role in ESCC tumorigenesis, which can be explored in future studies. Overall, our findings open up new avenues for development of novel therapeutics and/or diagnostic approaches in ESCC.