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Frontiers of Medicine

Front. Med.    2019, Vol. 13 Issue (4) : 482-491     https://doi.org/10.1007/s11684-018-0633-0
RESEARCH ARTICLE
G protein-coupled receptor LGR6 is an independent risk factor for colon adenocarcinoma
Wenjing Wang1, Shigang Ding1(), Hejun Zhang1, Jun Li1, Jun Zhan2(), Hongquan Zhang2()
1. Department of Gastroenterology, Peking University Third Hospital, Beijing 100191, China
2. Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Translational Research (Ministry of Education), and State Key Laboratory of Natural and Biomimetic Drugs, and Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing 100191, China
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Abstract

LGR6 is a member of the G protein-coupled receptor family that plays a tumor-suppressive role in colon cancer. However, the relationship between LGR6 expression in patients and clinicopathological factors remains unclear. This study aimed to clarify whether the expression level of LGR6 is correlated with colon adenocarcinoma progression. Immunohistochemistry was used to detect LGR6 expression in colon adenoma tissues (n = 21), colon adenocarcinoma tissues (n = 156), and adjacent normal tissues (n = 124). The expression levels of LGR6 in colon adenoma and adenocarcinoma were significantly higher than those in normal colon epithelial tissues (P<0.001). Low LGR6 expression predicted a short overall survival in patients with colon adenocarcinoma (log-rank test, P = 0.016). Univariate and multivariate survival analyses showed that, in addition to N and M classification, LGR6 expression served as an independent prognostic factor. Thus, low expression of LGR6 can be used as an independent prognostic parameter in patients with colon adenocarcinoma.

Keywords LGR6      colon adenocarcinoma      immunohistochemistry      prognosis     
Corresponding Authors: Shigang Ding,Jun Zhan,Hongquan Zhang   
Just Accepted Date: 28 April 2018   Online First Date: 02 July 2018    Issue Date: 02 August 2019
 Cite this article:   
Wenjing Wang,Shigang Ding,Hejun Zhang, et al. G protein-coupled receptor LGR6 is an independent risk factor for colon adenocarcinoma[J]. Front. Med., 2019, 13(4): 482-491.
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http://journal.hep.com.cn/fmd/EN/10.1007/s11684-018-0633-0
http://journal.hep.com.cn/fmd/EN/Y2019/V13/I4/482
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Wenjing Wang
Shigang Ding
Hejun Zhang
Jun Li
Jun Zhan
Hongquan Zhang
Characteristic Value/number of patients Ratio
Age median (range), year 67 (24–91)
Gender
Male 85 54.50%
Female 71 45.50%
Age, year
<60 30 19.20%
60–91 126 80.80%
Tumor Nodes Metastases category
T1 4 2.60%
T2 9 5.80%
T3 113 72.40%
T4 30 19.20%
N0 85 54.50%
N1 54 34.60%
N2 17 10.90%
M0 149 95.50%
M1 7 4.50%
American Joint Committee on Cancer category
I 11 7.10%
II 73 46.80%
III 65 41.70%
IV 7 4.50%
Survival status
Alive 88 56.40%
Dead 68 43.60%
Tab.1  Clinicopathological factors of patients with colon adenocarcinoma (n = 156)
Fig.1  LGR6 is expressed in colon adenocarcinoma. Immunohistochemical staining was performed to examine LGR6 expression in colon adenocarcinomas. Representative photographs are shown, and corresponding regions are enlarged. Staining scores were categorized into four grades: (A) no staining (0); (B) weak staining (1+); (C) moderate staining (2+); (D) strong staining (3+).
Fig.2  Expression of LGR6 in normal, adenoma, and adenocarcinoma colon tissues. (A) Normal colon mucosa; (B) large tissue section enclosing adenoma and normal colon mucosa; (C) normal tissue extracted from Fig. 2B; (D) adenoma tissue extracted from Fig. 2B; (E) colon adenocarcinoma tissue; (F) LGR6 expression is higher in colon adenoma and adenocarcinoma tissues than in normal colon mucosa (t-test, P<0.001), whereas differences between adenoma and adenocarcinoma are insignificant (t-test, P>0.05).
Fig.3  Expression of LGR6 in colorectal adenoma and adenocarcinoma. (A) LGR6 expression in Sabates–Bellver colon data set in Oncomine: rectal and colonic adenomas highly express LGR6; (B) LGR6 expression in Skrzypczak colorectal data set in Oncomine: LGR6 expression in colorectal adenoma is significantly higher than that in normal tissue; (C and D) relationships between KRAS and LGR6 expression in normal and tumor tissues, respectively, in the UCSC database (P = 0.1810; P = 0.2177). (E) LGR6 expression is significantly higher in KRAS mutant than in KRAS wild-type specimens in the Oncomine database (P = 0.0006). (F) LGR6 expression is lower in specimens with microsatellite than in those with microsatellite stability in Oncomine (P = 0.0220).
Characteristic Low-expression group High-expression group P
0 (0–1) (1–2) (2–3)
No. of patients Ratio No. of patients Ratio No. of patients Ratio No. of patients Ratio
Gender 0.271
Male 5 3.20% 31 19.90% 31 19.90% 18 11.50%
Female 7 4.50% 16 10.30% 30 19.20% 18 11.50%
Age, year 0.420
<60 2 1.30% 11 7.10% 8 5.10% 9 5.80%
60–91 10 6.40% 36 23.10% 53 34.00% 27 17.30%
Tumor Nodes Metastases category
T1 1 0.60% 3 1.90% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0.068a
T2 1 0.60% 1 0.60% 6 3.80% 1 0.60% 0.123b
T3 8 5.10% 32 20.50% 42 26.90% 31 19.90%
T4 2 1.30% 11 7.10% 13 8.30% 4 2.60%
N0 6 3.80% 28 17.90% 26 16.70% 25 16.00% 0.063
N1–N2 6 3.80% 19 12.20% 35 22.40% 11 7.10%
M0 11 7.10% 44 28.20% 58 37.20% 36 23.10% 0.367
M1 1 0.60% 3 1.90% 3 1.90% 0 0.00%
American Joint Committee on Cancer
I 1 0.60% 4 2.60% 5 3.20% 1 0.60% 0.285a
II 5 3.20% 23 14.70% 21 13.50% 24 15.40% 0.146b
III 5 3.20% 17 10.90% 32 20.50% 11 7.10%
IV 1 0.60% 3 1.90% 3 1.90% 0 0.00%
Survival status
Alive 4 2.60% 23 14.70% 36 23.10% 25 16.00% 0.036*
Dead 8 5.10% 24 15.40% 25 16.00% 11 7.10%
Tab.2  Association between LGR6 expression levels and clinical variables in colon adenocarcinoma
Characteristic Univariate survival analysis Multivariate survival analysis
P HR 95% CI P HR 95% CI
Gender
Male 0.653 0.896 0.554–1.499
Female
Age, year
<60 0.612 1.174 0.629–2.191
60–90
Tumor Nodes Metastases category
T1–T2 0.063 3.794 0.929–15.505
T3–T4
N0 0.002* 2.122 1.307–3.444 0.003* 2.109 1.283–3.467
N1–N2
M0 0.000* 5.437 2.305–12.825 0.002* 4.029 1.681–9.657
M1
American Joint Committee on Cancer
I–II 0.001* 2.229 1.370–3.626
III–IV
Relative level of LGR6
High expression 0.018* 1.780 1.103–2.872 0.008* 1.919 1.182–3.114
Low expression
Tab.3  Univariate and multivariate analysis of overall survival in 156 patients with colon adenocarcinoma
Fig.4  Elevated expression of LGR6 predicts long overall survival for patients with colon adenocarcinoma. Kaplan–Meier analysis of two groups of patients with colon adenocarcinoma with high or low LGR6 expression was determined by log-rank test (P<0.05), which shows that elevated expression of LGR6 correlates with better overall survival for patients with colon adenocarcinoma.
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