Oncotarget 2016 10;7(40):65876-65887
Programa de Carcinogênese Molecular, Instituto Nacional de Câncer - INCA, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is widely known as a highly lethal and poor understood cancer, then requiring the search for novel molecular markers to improve its management and patients survival. Recently, ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme E2C (UBE2C) has been figuring as a prominent tumor biomarker candidate, once it has been recognized as a key player in cell cycle progression. In this way, the aim of this study was to evaluate the expression profile of UBE2C gene and protein in ESCC samples, as well as its diagnostic and prognostic marker potential, and its contribution to ESSC genesis and/or progression by performing in vitro functional assays. The analysis of UBE2C gene expression in 52 paired ESCC samples (tumor and respective histologically normal surrounding tissue), by qRT-PCR, revealed that this gene is overexpressed in 73% of ESCC samples. Subsequently, immunohistochemical analysis confirmed that UBE2C protein expression was upregulated in all ESCC cases, but absent in the histologically normal tumor surrounding tissues. Moreover, we showed that UBE2C mRNA expression was able to accurately discriminate ESCC tissue from both healthy esophageal and histologically normal tumor surrounding tissues, pointing out its role as a diagnostic marker for this cancer. Finally, we report that UBE2C affects proliferation rates and cell cycle profile of ESCC cell lines, by directly interfering with cyclin B1 protein levels, suggesting its involvement in crucial steps of ESCC carcinogenesis.