Clinical and biological significance of S-phase kinase-associated protein 2 (Skp2) gene expression in gastric carcinoma: Modulation of malignant phenotype by Skp2 overexpression, possibly via p27 proteolysis

Takaaki Masuda, Hiroshi Inoue, Hideto Sonoda, Shinji Mine, Yasuji Yoshikawa, Keiko Nakayama, Keiichi Nakayama, Masaki Mori

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Reduced expression level of p27, a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, is associated with high aggressiveness and poor prognosis of various malignant tumors, including gastric carcinoma. S-phase kinase-associated protein 2 (Skp2), a member of the F-box family of substrate-recognition subunits of Skp1-Cullin-F-box ubiquitin-protein ligase complexes, is necessary for p27 ubiquitination and degradation. In the present study, we examined the clinical and biological significance of Skp2 expression in human gastric carcinoma and the relationship between the expression of Skp2 and p27. Northern blot analysis showed that Skp2 mRNA was overexpressed in carcinoma tissues (P < 0.05), and the high Skp2 expression group showed significantly poorer prognosis in 98 patients with gastric carcinoma (P < 0.05). Immunohistochemical analysis showed that Skp2 protein was expressed predominantly in carcinoma cells. We also found an inverse correlation between the expression of Skp2 mRNA and p27 protein in vivo (P < 0.01). To analyze the biological behavior of Skp2, we established stably Skp2-transfected gastric carcinoma cell lines. Western blot analysis showed that Skp2-transfected cells expressed lower levels of p27 protein than the control cells. Skp2-transfected cells showed significantly higher levels of growth rate (P < 0.05), percentage of bromode-oxyuridine-positive cells after serum starvation (P < 0.01), resistance to apoptosis induction by actinomycin D treatment (P < 0.05), and invasion potential (P < 0.01) than the control cells. These findings indicate that Skp2 expression can modulate the malignant phenotype of gastric carcinoma, possibly via p27 proteolysis. Skp2 can play an important role in gastric carcinoma progression and would be a novel target for the treatment of gastric carcinoma as well as a strong prognostic marker.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3819-3825
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Research
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2002


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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