Loss of Myosin Vb in colorectal cancer is a strong prognostic factor for disease recurrence.
- Integrated BioBank of Luxembourg
BACKGROUND: Selecting the most beneficial treatment regimens for colorectal cancer (CRC) patients remains challenging due to a lack of prognostic markers. Members of the Myosin family, proteins recognised to have a major role in trafficking and polarisation of cells, have recently been reported to be closely associated with several types of cancer and might thus serve as potential prognostic markers in the context of CRC. METHODS: We used a previously established meta-analysis of publicly available gene expression data to analyse the expression of different members of the Myosin V family, namely MYO5A, 5B, and 5C, in CRC. Using laser-microdissected material as well as tissue microarrays from paired human CRC samples, we validated both RNA and protein expression of Myosin Vb (MYO5B) and its known adapter proteins (RAB8A and RAB25) in an independent patient cohort. Finally, we assessed the prognostic value of both MYO5B and its adapter-coupled combinatorial gene expression signatures. RESULTS: The meta-analysis as well as an independent patient cohort study revealed a methylation-independent loss of MYO5B expression in CRC that matched disease progression. Although MYO5B mutations were identified in a small number of patients, these cannot be solely responsible for the common downregulation observed in CRC patients. Significantly, CRC patients with low MYO5B expression displayed shorter overall, disease-, and metastasis-free survival, a trend that was further reinforced when RAB8A expression was also taken into account. CONCLUSIONS: Our data identify MYO5B as a powerful prognostic biomarker in CRC, especially in early stages (stages I and II), which might help stratifying patients with stage II for adjuvant chemotherapy.