Differential expression patterns of metastasis suppressor proteins in basal cell carcinoma
Background: Basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) are common malignant skin tumors. Despite having a significant invasion capacity, they metastasize only rarely. Our aim in this study was to detect the expression patterns of the NM23-H1, NDRG1, E-cadherin, RHOGDI2, CD82/KAI1, MKK4, and AKAP12 metastasis suppressor proteins in BCCs. Methods: A total of 96 BCC and 10 normal skin samples were included for the immunohistochemical study. Eleven frozen BCC samples were also studied by quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) to detect the gene expression profile. Results: NM23-H1 was strongly and diffusely expressed in all types of BCC. Significant cytoplasmic expression of NDRG1 and E-cadherin was also detected. However, AKAP12 and CD82/KAI1 expression was significantly decreased. The expressions of the other proteins were somewhere between the two extremes. Similarly, qRT-PCR analysis showed down-regulation of AKAP12 and up-regulation of NM23-H1 and NDRG1 in BCC. Morphologically aggressive BCCs showed significantly higher cytoplasmic NDRG1 expression scores and lower CD82/KAI1 scores than non-aggressive BCCs. Conclusion: The relatively preserved levels of NM23-H1, NDRG1, and E-cadherin proteins may have a positive effect on the non-metastasizing features of these tumors.