Author(s): Dawson H, Grundmann S, Koelzer VH, Galvn JA, Kirsch R,
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Abstract AIMS: Tumour buds in colorectal cancer represent an aggressive subgroup of non-proliferating and non-apoptotic tumour cells. We hypothesize that the survival of tumour buds is dependent upon anoikis resistance. The role of tyrosine kinase receptor B (TrkB), a promoter of epithelial-mesenchymal transition and anoikis resistance, in facilitating budding was investigated. METHODS AND RESULTS: Tyrosine kinase receptor B immunohistochemistry was performed on a multiple-punch tissue microarray of 211 colorectal cancer resections. Membranous/cytoplasmic and nuclear expression was evaluated in tumour and buds. Tumour budding was assessed on corresponding whole tissue slides. Relationship to Ki-67 and caspase-3 was investigated. Analysis of Kirsten Ras (KRAS), proto-oncogene B-RAF (BRAF) and cytosine-phosphate-guanosine island methylator phenotype (CIMP) was performed. Membranous/cytoplasmic and nuclear TrkB were strongly, inversely correlated (P < 0.0001; r = -0.41). Membranous/cytoplasmic TrkB was overexpressed in buds compared to the main tumour body (P < 0.0001), associated with larger tumours (P = 0.0236), high-grade budding (P = 0.0011) and KRAS mutation (P = 0.0008). Nuclear TrkB was absent in buds (P <0.0001) and in high-grade budding cancers (P =0.0073). Among patients with membranous/cytoplasmic TrkB-positive buds, high tumour membranous/cytoplasmic TrkB expression was a significant, independent adverse prognostic factor [P = 0.033; 1.79, 95\% confidence interval (CI) 1.05-3.05]. Inverse correlations between membranous/cytoplasmic TrkB and Ki-67 (r = -0.41; P < 0.0001) and caspase-3 (r =-0.19; P < 0.05) were observed. CONCLUSIONS: Membranous/cytoplasmic TrkB may promote an epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-like phenotype with high-grade budding and maintain viability of buds themselves. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
This article was published in Histopathology
and referenced in Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy