Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Mucins, such as MUC1 and MUC5AC, are known for their protective and moisturizing role in intestinal epithelium. Their expression is tightly controlled given their essential role in normal tissue homeostasis, whereas their deregulation leads to chronic inflammation, and even cancer. This study aimed to assess the expression profiles of MUC1 and MUC5AC and their implications in colorectal carcinogenesis. Materials and methods: A retrospective study of 202 patients who underwent colorectal cancer (CRC) surgery was conducted. The expression of MUC1 and MUC5AC was investigated by immunohistochemistry and reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Statistical analysis of mucin expression pattern, as well as the clinicopathological criteria of the patients, was performed using the chi-square test, survival curves were plotted using the Kaplan-Meier product-limit method, and differences between the survival curves were tested using the log-rank test. Results: The expression of both mucins was abnormally high in the tumor tissues for both mRNA and protein. MUC1 expression was correlated with advanced cancer stages and lymph node metastases for both the mRNA (P < 0.016 and P < 0.002, respectively) and protein level (P < 0.006 and P < 0.001, respectively). However, MUC5AC expression did not pinpoint any significant association between the clinicopathological criteria, but patients who expressed MUC5AC showed an increase in overall survival (P < 0.009). Conclusion: The expression of MUC1 might be a poor prognostic biomarker in CRC and could play a role in tumor transformation and metastasis. However, MUC5AC expression might be a good prognostic in the Tunisian cohort.


Colorectal cancer, MUC1, MUC5AC, immunohistochemistry, RT-PCR

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