DEPTOR Expression Negatively Correlates with mTORC1 Activity and Tumor Progression in Colorectal Cancer

  • Lai, Er-Yong (The Clinical Research Center for Colorectal Tumor, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical University) ;
  • Chen, Zhen-Guo (Department of Cell Biology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Southern Medical University) ;
  • Zhou, Xuan (Department of Cell Biology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Southern Medical University) ;
  • Fan, Xiao-Rong (Department of Cell Biology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Southern Medical University) ;
  • Wang, Hua (Department of Cell Biology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Southern Medical University) ;
  • Lai, Ping-Lin (Department of Cell Biology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Southern Medical University) ;
  • Su, Yong-Chun (Department of Cell Biology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Southern Medical University) ;
  • Zhang, Bai-Yu (Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University) ;
  • Bai, Xiao-Chun (Department of Cell Biology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Southern Medical University) ;
  • Li, Yun-Feng (The Clinical Research Center for Colorectal Tumor, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical University)
  • Published : 2014.06.15


The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway is upregulated in the pathogenesis of many cancers, including colorectal cancer (CRC). DEPTOR is an mTOR inhibitor whose expression is negatively regulated by mTOR. However, the role of DEPTOR in the development of CRC is not known. The aim of this study was to investigate the expression of DEPTOR and mTORC1 activity (P-S6) in a subset of CRC patients and determine their relation to tumor differentiation, invasion, nodal metastasis and disease-free survival. Here, Immunohistochemical expression of P-S6 (S235/236) and DEPTOR were evaluated in 1.5 mm tumor cores from 90 CRC patients and in 90 samples of adjacent normal mucosa by tissue microarray. The expression of P-S6 (S235/236) was upregulated in CRC, with the positive rate of P-S6 (S235/236) in CRC (63.3%) significantly higher than that in control tissues (36.7%, 30%) (p<0.05). P-S6 (S235/236) also correlated with high tumor histologic grade (p=0.002), and positive nodal metastasis (p=0.002). In contrast, the expression level of DEPTOR was correlated with low tumor histological grade (p=0.006), and negative nodal metastasis (p=0.001). Interestingly, P-S6 (S235/236) expression showed a significant negative association with the expression of DEPTOR in CRC (p=0.011, R= -0.279). However, upregulation of P-S6 (S235/236) (p=0.693) and downregulation of DEPTOR (p=0.331) in CRC were not significantly associated with overall survival. Thus, we conclude that expression of DEPTOR negatively correlates with mTORC1 activity and tumor progression in CRC. DEPTOR is a potential marker for prognostic evaluation and a target for the treatment of CRC.


Supported by : National Natural Sciences Foundation of China


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