Prognostic Importance and Therapeutic Implications of PAK1, a Drugable Protein Kinase, in Gastroesophageal Junction Adenocarcinoma.

TitlePrognostic Importance and Therapeutic Implications of PAK1, a Drugable Protein Kinase, in Gastroesophageal Junction Adenocarcinoma.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsLi Z, Zou X, Xie L, Dong H, Chen Y, Liu Q, Wu X, Zhou D, Tan D, Zhang H
JournalPloS one
Volume8
Issue11
Paginatione80665
Date Published2013
Abstract

Gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) adenocarcinoma is a lethal cancer with rising incidence, yet the molecular biomarkers that have strong prognostic impact and also hold great therapeutic promise remain elusive. We used a data mining approach and identified the p21 protein-activated kinase 1 (PAK1), an oncogene and drugable protein kinase, to be among the most promising targets for GEJ adenocarcinoma. Immunoblot analysis and data mining demonstrated that PAK1 protein and mRNA were upregulated in cancer tissues compared to the noncancerous tissues. Immunohistochemistry revealed PAK1 overexpression in 72.6% of primary GEJ adenocarcinomas (n = 113). A step-wise increase in PAK1 levels was noted from paired normal epithelium, to atypical hyperplasia and adenocarcinoma. PAK1 overexpression in tumor was associated with lymph node (LN) metastasis (P<0.001), advanced tumor stage (P<0.001), large tumor size (P = 0.006), residual surgical margin (P = 0.033), and unfavorable overall survival (P<0.001). Multivariate analysis showed PAK1 overexpression is an independent high-risk prognostic predictor (P<0.001). Collectively, PAK1 is overexpressed during tumorigenic progression and its upregulation correlates with malignant properties mainly relevant to invasion and metastasis. PAK1 expression could serve as a prognostic predictor that holds therapeutic promise for GEJ adenocarcinoma.

DOI10.1371/journal.pone.0080690
Alternate JournalPLoS ONE