Expression of inhibitor-of-apoptosis protein family members in malignant mesothelioma

Human Pathology. 2007 Jul;38(7):986-94. Epub 2007 Mar 9. [Link]

Kleinberg L, Lie AK, Flørenes VA, Nesland JM, Davidson B.

Pathology Clinic, Rikshospitalet-Radiumhospitalet Medical Center, Oslo, Norway.


Inhibitor-of-apoptosis proteins (IAPs) mediate cancer cell survival and chemoresistance. We analyzed the expressions of X-linked IAP (XIAP), survivin, and livin in malignant mesothelioma. Ten effusions were analyzed for XIAP, survivin, and livin expression using immunoblotting. Based on the immunoblotting results, 112 mesotheliomas from 94 patients (pleural, n = 77; peritoneal, n = 35; solid, n = 68; effusions, n = 44) were immunostained for XIAP and survivin expression. Results were analyzed for associations with anatomic site (pleura versus peritoneum), specimen type (solid versus effusion), proliferation (Ki-67 score), and survival. Immunoblotting showed expression of XIAP in 9 of 10 effusions and that of survivin in 4 of 10 effusions, but no expression of livin. Immunohistochemistry showed cytoplasmic XIAP expression in 71 of the 112 (63%) tumors. XIAP expression was significantly higher in peritoneal mesotheliomas than in pleural mesotheliomas (P = .001) and in effusions than in solid lesions (P = .017). Cytoplasmic survivin was found in 75 of the 112 (67%) tumors and showed no site-related difference. Nuclear survivin was expressed in 37 of the 112 (33%) tumors, with a trend for positive association with the Ki-67 score (P = .051). Nuclear survivin (P = .003) and Ki-67 (P = .013) were downregulated in effusions as compared with solid tumors. Higher XIAP expression and Ki-67 score were associated with a trend for poor overall survival (P = .064 for both) in the univariate analysis. XIAP and survivin, but not livin, are frequently expressed in malignant mesotheliomas. Nuclear survivin expression is reduced in effusions as compared with solid lesions concomitantly with reduced proliferation. XIAP is upregulated in mesothelioma effusions and peritoneal mesotheliomas, suggesting a prosurvival role in malignant mesothelioma cells, particularly at these anatomic sites.

Keywords: IAP, Malignant mesothelioma, Tumor progression, Serous effusions, Survival