Prevalence of βIII-tubulin (TUBB3) expression in human normal tissues and cancers


Microtubules are multifunctional cytoskeletal proteins that are involved in crucial cellular roles including maintenance of cell shape, intracellular transport, meiosis, and mitosis. Class III beta-tubulin (βIII-tubulin, also known as TUBB3) is a microtubule protein, normally expressed in cells of neuronal origin. Its expression was also reported in various other tumor types, such as several types of lung cancer, ovarian cancer, and esophageal cancer. TUBB3 is of clinical relevance as overexpression has been linked to poor response to microtubule-targeting anti-cancer drugs such as taxanes. To systematically investigate the epidemiology of TUBB3 expression in normal and neoplastic tissues, we used tissue microarrays for analyzing the immunohistochemically detectable expression of TUBB3 in 3911 tissue samples from 100 different tumor categories and 76 different normal tissue types. At least 1 tumor with weak expression could be found in 93 of 100 (93%) different tumor types, and all these 93 entities also had at least 1 tumor with strong positivity. In normal tissues, a particularly strong expression was found in neurons of the brain, endothelium of blood vessels, fibroblasts, spermatogenic cells, stroma cells, endocrine cells, and acidophilic cells of the pituitary gland. In tumors, strong TUBB3 expression was most frequently found in various brain tumors (85%-100%), lung cancer (35%-80%), pancreatic adenocarcinoma (50%), renal cell carcinoma (15%-80%), and malignant melanoma (77%). In summary, these results identify a broad spectrum of cancers that can at least sporadically express TUBB3. Testing of TUBB3 in cancer types eligible for taxane-based therapies could be helpful to identify patients who might best benefit from this treatment.

Bibliografische Daten

StatusVeröffentlicht - 10.2017
PubMed 29022485