PATIENTS AND METHODS: Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue samples of 47 CRCs surgically resected at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital (KLH) between 1999 and 2000 were used. Immunohistochemical staining with monoclonal antibodies against cyclin-D1 and survivin and polyclonal antibodies against Wnt-1 and WISP-1 was performed. Results of immunohistochemistry were analysed for correlation between biomolecules and histopathological data of the patients.
RESULTS: Of the 47 CRCs, 26 (55.3%), 15 (31.9%), 5 (10.6%) and 28 (59.6%) of the tumours exhibited positivity for Wnt-1, WISP-1, cyclin D1 and survivin, respectively. A lower percentage of the 40 apparently normal adjacent tissues were found to be positive for Wnt-1 (7, 17.5%), WISP-1 (+/-5, 12.5%) and survivin (13, 32.5%), but cyclin D1 was not detected in any of them. Interestingly, the total scores of Wnt-1, WISP-1 and survivin were significantly higher in CRC tissues (p=0.001, 0.034 and 0.044, respectively). Using the Spearman rank correlation test, a positive linear relationship was found between total Wnt-1 score with total WISP-1 score (rho=0.319, p=0.003) and total survivin score (rho=0.609, p=or<0.001). The expression of WISP-1 in the CRC tissues was found to be positively correlated with patients older than 60 years old (p=0.011). In addition, nuclear cyclin-D1 expression was found to be associated with poorly differentiated CRC tissues (p<0.001, Table 5) and right-sided CRC tumour (p=0.019, Table 6). Total WISP-1 score was associated with well-differentiated CRC tissues (p=0.029).
CONCLUSIONS: Overexpression and interplay between Wnt-1, WISP-1, survivin and cyclin-D1 may play a role in tumorigenesis, possibly by promoting cell cycle checkpoint progression, accelerating cell growth and inhibiting apoptosis. Our data may provide useful information towards the search for potent therapeutic targets towards the development of novel treatment strategies for CRC.