Autophagy is a complex metabolic process in which multiple autophagy-related genes contribute to regulate it. This process generally protects the cell from death under stressful condition and facilitates adaptive survival. Autophagy process is also involved in tumorigenesis and can act as either tumor promoting or tumor suppressing.
Patients and methods
This is a retrospective, controlled study on 63 colorectal carcinoma (CRC) cases to detect the expression of Beclin-1, hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF1α), and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB)/p65 and to correlate them with various clinicopathological parameters.
The expression of Beclin-1, HIF1α, and NF-κB/p65 was detected in 41 (65.1%) cases, 37 (58.7%) cases, and 35 (55.6%) cases of CRC, respectively. Beclin-1 expression was significantly correlated with grade of CRC (P=0.047), with no significant correlation with other clinicopathological factors. The expression of HIF1α and NF-κB/p65 was correlated with tumor depth of invasion (P=0.049 and 0.026, respectively), lymph node metastasis (P=0.041 and 0.021, respectively), distant metastasis (P=0.029 and 0.016, respectively), and tumor node and metastasis stage (P=0.025 and 0.006, respectively). However, they were not significantly correlated with other variables. Beclin-1 expression was significantly positively correlated with HIF1α and NF-κB/p65 (P=0.036, 0.025). A significant correlation was also detected between HIF1α and NF-κB/p65 (P=0.022).
The results suggested that Beclin-1 expression may be involved in colorectal carcinogenesis and progression, being linked with tumor hypoxia and NF-κB/p65-mediated signaling.