CBX3/heterochromatin protein 1 gamma is significantly upregulated in patients with non–small cell lung cancer
Lung cancer is typically categorized into small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). NSCLC comprises of the majority of lung cancer with a poor prognosis in advanced cases. Transcriptional profiling studies, including microarrays and RNA-sequencing studies, have significantly enriched our knowledge of gene expression patterns in NSCLC. A recent transcriptional profiling study identified high prevalence of CBX3/HP1-gamma upregulation in human NSCLC samples. CBX3/HP1-gamma is an isoform of the heterochromatin protein 1 family, which plays a role in heterochromatin formation and is linked to cancer.Methods
We examined lung cancer samples from our hospital using immunohistochemistry for CBX3/HP1-gamma staining. We also analyzed publicly available databases of NSCLC transcriptional profiling to validate our results.Results
We identified a high prevalence (77.2%) of samples with positive CBX3/HP1-gamma staining by immunohistochemistry in NSCLC patient samples. Independently, we queried a publicly available dataset (GSE40419) containing RNA-seq data from 77 patients. Upregulation of CBX3/HP1-gamma in tumor samples was present in 60.2% of the patients. A similar correlation was also observed in the The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database. Interestingly, we discovered a highly significant association between positive CBX3/HP1-gamma staining and EGFR mutation in our patient samples (40 of 42 patients, P < 0.001). Treatment of EGFR mutant NSCLC cell lines with the EGFR inhibitor gefitinib failed to yield a change in CBX/HP1-gamma expression, suggesting that CBX/HP1-gamma expression may be independent of EGFR downstream signaling.Conclusion
We report a significant upregulation of CBX3/HP1-gamma in NSCLC patients, and also a possible relationship between CBX3/HP1-gamma expression and EGFR mutation.