OncoTargets and therapy

Expressions and clinical significance of autophagy-related markers Beclin1, LC3, and EGFR in human cervical squamous cell carcinoma.

PMID 26346666


We aimed to investigate the expression of EGFR and the autophagy-related markers Beclin1 and LC3 in cervical cancer. Beclin1, LC3, and EGFR expression were analyzed in 80 samples of cervical squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), 40 samples of high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), and 40 samples of normal cervical tissues by immunohistochemistry. The protein expression rates were analyzed with χ (2) and Fisher's exact tests. Differences in overall survival (OS) were determined using the Kaplan-Meier method and log-rank tests. Cervical cancer, high-grade CIN, and normal cervical epithelial cells expressed Beclin1 in 26.2%, 77.5%, and 82.5% of patients, respectively, and expressed LC3 in 28.8%, 70.0%, and 75.0% of patients, respectively. There was a significant difference between cervical SCC and high-grade CIN or normal cervical epithelial cells (P=0.000). Cervical cancer cells, high-grade CIN cells, and normal cervical epithelial cells expressed EGFR in 68.8%, 62.5%, and 12.5% of patients, respectively. There was a significant difference between cervical SCC or high-grade CIN and normal cervical epithelial cells (P=0.000). No significant association between Beclin1 or LC3 or EGFR expression and various clinicopathological parameters was observed in cervical SCC. There was no significant correlation between Beclin1, LC3, EGFR expression, and 5-year OS rates of cervical SCC patients. Beclin1- or LC3-negativity with EGFR-positivity in cervical SCC was associated with a higher Federation International of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stage (P=0.011 and P=0.013, respectively) and pelvic lymph node metastasis (P=0.036 and P=0.092, respectively). The 5-year OS rates did not significantly differ between Beclin1- or LC3-positive and -negative patients with positive EGFR. Autophagy was downregulated and EGFR was upregulated in cervical SCC. Autophagy downregulation combined with EGFR upregulation promotes the progression of cervical SCC.