Open Access Research article

Overexpression of CDC25B, CDC25C and phospho-CDC25C (Ser216) in vulvar squamous cell carcinomas are associated with malignant features and aggressive cancer phenotypes

Zhihui Wang12, Claes G Trope3, Vivi Ann Flørenes4, Zhenhe Suo1, Jahn M Nesland1 and Ruth Holm4*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pathology, Oslo University Hospital and University of Oslo, Norway

2 Department of Oncology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Medical College of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, China

3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Oslo University Hospital and University of Oslo, Norway

4 Department of Pathology, Oslo University Hospital, Norway

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BMC Cancer 2010, 10:233  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-10-233

Published: 25 May 2010



CDC25 phosphatases are important regulators of the cell cycle. Their abnormal expression detected in a number of tumors implies that their dysregulation is involved in malignant transformation. However, the role of CDC25s in vulvar cancer is still unknown. To shed light on their roles in the pathogenesis and to clarify their prognostic values, expression of CDC25A, CDC25B and CDC25C in a large series of vulvar squamous cell carcinomas were examined.


Expression of CDC25A, CDC25B, CDC25C and phosphorylated (phospho)-CDC25C (Ser216) were examined in 300 vulvar carcinomas using immunohistochemistry. Western blot analysis was utilized to demonstrate CDC25s expression in vulvar cancer cell lines. Kinase and phosphatase assays were performed to exclude cross reactivity among CDC25s isoform antibodies.


High nuclear CDC25A and CDC25B expression were observed in 51% and 16% of the vulvar carcinomas, respectively, whereas high cytoplasmic CDC25C expression was seen in 63% of the cases. In cytoplasm, nucleus and cytoplasm/nucleus high phospho-CDC25C (Ser216) expression was identified in 50%, 70% and 77% of the carcinomas, respectively. High expression of CDC25s correlated significantly with malignant features, including poor differentiation and infiltration of vessel for CDC25B, high FIGO stage, presence of lymph node metastases, large tumor diameter, poor differentiation for CDC25C and high FIGO stage, large tumor diameter, deep invasion and poor differentiation for phospho-CDC25C (Ser216). In univariate analysis, high expression of phospho-CDC25C (Ser216) was correlated with poor disease-specific survival (p = 0.04). However, such an association was annulled in multivariate analysis.


Our results suggest that CDC25C and phospho-CDC25C (Ser216) play a crucial role and CDC25B a minor role in the pathogenesis and/or progression of vulvar carcinomas. CDC25B, CDC25C and phospho-CDC25C (Ser216) were associated with malignant features and aggressive cancer phenotypes. However, the CDC25s isoforms were not independently correlated to prognosis.