Overexpression of CPE-?N predicts poor prognosis in colorectal cancer patients.
Carboxypeptidase E (CPE) is one of the most important carboxypeptidases involved in biosynthesis of numerous peptide hormones and neurotransmitters and has an important role in endocrine regulation. A splice variant of CPE (CPE-?N) has been detected and the mechanism of CPE-?N action in tumorigenesis has been studied in many different cancers. The aim of this study was to examine CPE-?N expression in human colorectal cancer (CRC) and to evaluate its possible use as a potential prognostic marker. Two hundred nineteen primary colorectal tumors and corresponding normal tissues were included in the study. We have analyzed CPE-?N isoform expression by qRT-PCR and Western blot in 219 CRC patients. Correlations between CPE-?N mRNA expression and clinicopathological variables were determined with chi-square tests. Survival probabilities were determined using Kaplan-Meier analysis, and univariate and multivariate analyses of the prognostic factors were performed with a Cox regression model. Our results show that CPE-?N is overexpressed in colorectal tumor tissue and that high CPE-?N mRNA expression is closely correlated with tumor differentiation, pT classification, pN classification, tumor recurrence, and lymph node metastasis (P?=?0.042, 0.036, 0.031, 0.006, and 0.008, respectively). However, no correlation was observed between CPE-?N expression and age, gender, tumor localization, gross features, and the tumor size. In addition, patients with high CPE-?N expression had a significantly shorter survival (P?0.001, logrank test). Tumor differentiation, gross feature, pT classification, pN classification, tumor recurrence, lymph node metastasis, and CPE-?N status were significantly associated with poor prognosis after performing a univariate Cox survival analysis. High CPE-?N expression was also identified as an independent prognostic factor using a multivariate analysis (P?=?0.011). Based on these results, we can conclude that CPE-?N expression might be a potential prognostic marker for colorectal cancer patients.