Peptidyl arginine deiminases (PADI) are a family of enzymes that catalyze the poorly understood posttranslational modification converting arginine residues into citrullines. In this study, the role of PADIs in the pathogenesis of colorectal cancer was investigated. Specifically, RNA expression was analyzed and its association with survival in a cohort of 98 colorectal cancer patient specimens with matched adjacent mucosa and 50 controls from donors without cancer. Key results were validated in an independent collection of tumors with matched adjacent mucosa and by mining of a publicly available expression data set. Protein expression was analyzed by immunoblotting for cell lines or IHC for patient specimens that further included 24 cases of adenocarcinoma with adjacent dysplasia and 11 cases of active ulcerative colitis. The data indicate that PADI2 is the dominantly expressed PADI enzyme in colon mucosa and is upregulated during differentiation. PADI2 expression is low or absent in colorectal cancer. Frequently, this occurs already at the stage of low-grade dysplasia. Mucosal PADI2 expression is also low in ulcerative colitis. The expression level of PADI2 in tumor and adjacent mucosa correlates with differential survival: low levels associate with poor prognosis.
Implications: Downregulation of PADI2 is an early event in the pathogenesis of colorectal cancer associated with poor prognosis and points toward a possible role of citrullination in modulating tumor cells and their microenvironment. Mol Cancer Res; 14(9); 841–8. ©2016 AACR.
This article is featured in Highlights of This Issue, p. 765
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Molecular Cancer Research Online (http://mcr.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received January 28, 2016.
- Revision received April 25, 2016.
- Accepted May 23, 2016.
- ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.