Protein kinase C isozymes associated with relapse free survival in non-small cell lung cancer patients
AuthorHalvorsen, Ann Rita; Haugen, Mads Haugland; Øjlert, Åsa Kristina; Lund-Iversen, Marius; Jørgensen, Lars Hilmar; Solberg, Steinar; Mælandsmo, Gunhild Mari; Brustugun, Odd Terje; Helland, Åslaug
Methods: We performed profiling of 295 cancer-relevant phosphorylated and non-phosphorylated proteins, using reverse phase protein arrays. Biopsies from 80 patients with operable lung adenocarcinomas were analyzed for protein expression and association with relapse free survival (RFS) were studied.
Results: Spearman’s rank correlation analysis identified 46 proteins with significant association to RFS (p<0.05). High expression of protein kinase C (PKC)-α and the phosporylated state of PKC-α, PKC-β, and PKC-δ, showed the strongest positive correlation to RFS, especially in the wild type samples. This was confirmed in gene expression data from 172 samples. Based on protein expression, unsupervised hierarchical clustering separated the samples into four subclusters enriched with the molecular subtypes terminal respiratory unit (TRU), proximal proliferative (PP), and proximal inflammatory (PI) (p=0.0001). Subcluster 2 contained a smaller cluster (2a) enriched with samples of the subtype PP, low expression of the PKC isozymes, and associated with poor RFS (p=0.003) compared to the other samples. Low expression of the PKC isozymes in the subtype PP and a reduced relapse free survival was confirmed with The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) samples.
Conclusion: This study identified different proteins associated with RFS depending on molecular subtype, smoking- and mutational-status, with PKC-α, PKC-β, and PKC-δ showing the strongest correlation.