Purpose: Apoptosis plays an important role in neoplastic processes. Bcl-B is an antiapoptotic Bcl-2 family member, which is known to change its phenotype upon binding to Nur77/TR3. The expression pattern of this protein in human malignancies has not been reported. Experimental Design: We investigated Bcl-B expression in normal human tissues and several types of human epithelial and nonepithelial malignancy by immunohistochemistry, correlating results with tumor stage, histologic grade, and patient survival. Results: Bcl-B protein was strongly expressed in all normal plasma cells but found in only 18% of multiple myelomas (n = 133). Bcl-B immunostaining was also present in normal germinal center centroblasts and centrocytes and in approximately half of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (n = 48) specimens, whereas follicular lymphomas (n = 57) did not contain Bcl-B. In breast (n = 119), prostate (n = 66), gastric (n = 180), and colorectal (n = 106) adenocarcinomas, as well as in non-small cell lung cancers (n = 82), tumor-specific overexpression of Bcl-B was observed. Bcl-B expression was associated with variables of poor prognosis, such as high tumor grade in breast cancer (P = 0.009), microsatellite stability (P = 0.0002), and left-sided anatomic location (P = 0.02) of colorectal cancers, as well as with greater incidence of death from prostate cancer (P = 0.005) and shorter survival of patients with small cell lung cancer (P = 0.009). Conversely, although overexpressed in many gastric cancers, Bcl-B tended to correlate with better outcome (P = 0.01) and more differentiated tumor histology (P < 0.0001). Conclusions: Tumor-specific alterations in Bcl-B expression may define subsets of nonepithelial and epithelial neoplasms with distinct clinical behaviors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research