Expression of Bcl-2 Family Members in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

Acta Oncologica. 2006;45(4):449-53. [Link]

Sara L. O’Kane A1, Rachelle J. Pound A1, Anne Campbell A2, Nilanjan Chaudhuri A1, Michael J. Lind A1, Lynn Cawkwell A1

A1 Postgraduate Medical Institute of the University of Hull and Hull York Medical School, University of Hull, UK
A2 Histopathology, Hull Royal Infirmary, Hull, UK


Little is known about the Bcl-2 family members in mesothelioma. These proteins are involved in the control of apoptosis, carrying out both pro- and anti- apoptotic functions. Immunohistochemistry was used to examine the expression of p53 and Bcl-2 family members in 54 archival mesothelioma samples (39 epithelial, 15 sarcomatoid tumours). Overexpression of p53 was observed in 81% (44/54). For anti-apoptotic proteins, overexpression was recorded as follows: Bcl-2 40% (22/54), Bcl-XL 24% (13/54), Mcl-1 92% (50/54). For pro-apoptotic proteins, loss of expression was recorded as follows: Bad 25% (14/54), Bak 24% (13/54), Bax 42% (23/54), Bid 37% (20/54), Bim 18% (10/54). Statistically significant differences between epithelial and sarcomatoid tumours were observed for Bid (p < 0.001), Bad (p = 0.012) and Bcl-XL (p = 0.03). Significant differences in abnormal expression of apoptosis proteins were found between epithelial and sarcomatoid subtypes but histological subtype was the only factor with significant association to patient prognosis.