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Laminin 5 γ2 chain expression: a marker of early invasiveness in colorectal adenomas
  1. C Lenander1,
  2. U J Roblick3,
  3. J K Habermann3,
  4. Å Öst4,
  5. K Tryggvason5,
  6. G Auer2
  1. 1Centre of Gastrointestinal Disease, Department of Surgery, Ersta Hospital, S-11691, Stockholm, Sweden
  2. 2Division of Cellular and Molecular Tumour Pathology, Department of Oncology and Pathology, Karolinska Institutet, S-17176, Stockholm, Sweden
  3. 3University of Schleswig-Holstein, Ratzeburger Allee 160, D-23438, Lübeck, Germany
  4. 4Department of Pathology and Cytology, Medilab, PO Box 1550, S-18315, Täby, Sweden
  5. 5Division of Matrix Biology, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institute, S-17177, Stockholm, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr C Lenander MD PhD
 Ersta Hospital, Box 4622, S-11691, Stockholm, Sweden;


Aim: Polyps of the colon and rectum are considered to be premalignant lesions in the development of colorectal cancer. However, knowledge of how normal epithelial cells gain invasive properties is limited. Laminin 5 γ2 chain expression was investigated to determine the role of laminin 5 as a marker of potential invasiveness in colorectal polyps.

Material/methods: Sixty seven polyps of different types (15 hyperplastic polyps, 12 serrated adenomas, 16 tubular adenomas, and 24 adenomas with a villous component) were assessed for γ2 chain expression of laminin 5 by immunohistochemistry on archival, paraffin wax embedded sections.

Results: Ten polyps stained positive and the number of polyps expressing the laminin 5 γ2 chain increased significantly as the phenotype of the adenomas became more atypical: none of the 15 hyperplastic polyps, two of the 16 tubular adenomas (12.5%), and six of the 24 adenomas with a villous component (25%) were positive. Two of 12 (17%) serrated adenomas, regarded as a distinct form of colorectal neoplasia, showed γ2 chain expression. Furthermore, laminin 5 γ2 chain expression correlated with lesion size. Polyps smaller than 10 mm expressed the γ2 chain less frequently than did those equal to or larger than 10 mm.

Conclusion: Laminin 5 γ2 chain expression was found to increase progressively towards a more atypical phenotype of adenoma. The results suggest that, in the future, laminin 5 γ2 chain expression may be used as an indicator of incipient malignant transformation of a benign colorectal adenoma.

  • colorectal polyps
  • laminin-5
  • serrated adenoma
  • CRC, colorectal carcinoma
  • ECM, extracellular matrix
  • ln, laminin
  • MMP, metalloproteinase
  • SA, serrated adenoma
  • TBS, Tris buffered saline

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