Published in Cancer Detection and Prevention 2000; 24(6):536-541.

Expression of bcl-2, bax, bcl-xL, and bcl-xS in Endometrial and Cervical Tissues

S. Mozzetti, MSc, G. Ferrandina, MD, M. Marone, PhD, F. D’IngiuIIo, BSc, E. Fruscella, MD, A. De Pas qua, MD, S. Mancuso, MD, and G. Scambia, MD

Laboratory of Antineoplastic Pharmacology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Catholic University, Rome, Italy

Address all correspondence and reprint requests to: Giovanni Scambia, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Catholic University, L.go Gemelli, 8.00168 Rome. Italy.

ABSTRACT: We assessed the protein expression levels of bcl-2, bax, bcl-xL, and bcl-xS in a group of 51 endometrial cancers and 8 normal samples as well as in 59 cervical neoplasms and in 15 normal cervical tissues. Neoplastic endometria (median, 1.30 absorbance units [AU]; range, 0.13—7.26 AU) had slightly higher bcl-2 levels than did normal tissue (median, 0.83 AU; range, 0.29—1.90 AU; P < .068), whereas bcl-2 was lower in neoplastic (median, 3.59 AU; range, 0.13-19.86 AU) than in normal cervical samples (median, 8.45 AU; range, 2.09—15.04 AU; P < .010). Bcl-xL levels were higher in endometrial carcinoma (median, 1.23 AU; range, 0.03—4.29 AU) than in normal tissues (median, 0.56 AU; range, 0.46—1.48 AU; P < .048), whereas no significant difference was observed in cervical tissues. Bax levels did not show any variation in either system. The protein bcl-xS was marginally detectable in only a few samples. In endometrial carcinoma, bcl-2 and bcl-xL levels were correlated inversely (r = —0.27; P < .054), whereas in cervical cancer, they were correlated directly (r = +0.40; P < .002). The different expression patterns of bcl-2 family members in endometrial and cervical tissues confirm the hypothesis of a strictly tissue-specific regulation of these proteins.

KEY WORDS: bax, bcl-2, bcl-x_L, bcl-x_S.