Expression of metallothionein and Nrf2 pathway genes in lung cancer and cancer-surrounding tissues

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like (Nrf)2 and metallothionein have been implicated in carcinogenesis. This study investigated the expression of Nrf2 and of Nrf2-targeted genes (NQO1 and GCLC) and the genes for the metallothionein (MT) isoforms (MT-1A and MT-2A) in human lung cancer and cancer-surrounding tissues.<br /><br />METHODS: Surgically removed lung cancer samples (n = 80) and cancer-surrounding tissues (n = 38) were collected from Zunyi Medical College Hospital, China. Total RNA was extracted, purified, and used for real-time reverse transcription-PCR analysis of interested genes.<br /><br />RESULTS: Expression of the Nrf2-targed genes NQO1 and GCLC tended to be higher (30 to 60%) in lung cancers, but was not significantly different from that in peri-cancer tissues. By contrast, expression of the genes for M)-1A, MT-2A, and the metal transcription factor MTF-1 were three-fold to four-fold lower in lung cancers.<br /><br />CONCLUSION: In surgical samples of lung cancer, MT expression was generally downregulated, whereas Nrf2 expression tended to be upregulated. These changes could play an integral role in lung carcinogenesis.

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Liang, G. Y., Lu, S. X., Xu, G., Liu, X. D., Li, J., & Zhang, D. S. (2013). Expression of metallothionein and Nrf2 pathway genes in lung cancer and cancer-surrounding tissues. World Journal of Surgical Oncology, 11. https://doi.org/10.1186/1477-7819-11-199

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