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Open Access Research article

Correlation of WWOX, RUNX2 and VEGFA protein expression in human osteosarcoma

Jilong Yang1*, Linru Zhao2, Wei Tian1, Zhichao Liao1, Hong Zheng2, Guowen Wang1 and Kexin Chen2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Bone and Soft Tissue Tumor, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Hospital & Institute, Tianjin 300060, China

2 Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Hospital & Institute, Tianjin 300060, China

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BMC Medical Genomics 2013, 6:56  doi:10.1186/1755-8794-6-56

Published: 15 December 2013

Abstract

Background

To investigate associations between WW domain-containing oxidoreductase (WWOX), runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2) and vascular endothelial growth factor alpha (VEGFA) in human osteosarcoma (OS).

Methods

Copy number aberrations of WWOX, RUNX2and VEGFA genes were detected by microarray comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) in 10 fresh OS tissue samples. VEGFA gene alterations were also investigated and validated by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) in 54 formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded (FFPE) OS samples. Protein expression of WWOX, RUNX2 and VEGFA were examined in 54 FFPE OS samples by immunohistochemistry (IHC).

Results

Analysis of previously published OS aCGH data (GSE9654) and aCGH data from this study (GSE19180) identified significant deletion of WWOX in 30% (6/20) of OS samples, whilst significant increase in both RUNX2 and VEGFA gene copy numbers were detected in 55% (11/20) and 60% (12/20) of OS samples, respectively. FISH demonstrated increased VEGFA gene copy number in 65.9% (31/47) of evaluable samples, in either focal or large fragment forms. Compared with positive expression of WWOX in 38.9% of the OS samples, positive expression of RUNX2 and VEGFA protein was found in 48.1 and 75.9% of samples. Although there was no significant association between gene copy number aberration and protein expression for WWOX and RUNX2, significant positive correlation between increased VEGFA gene copy number and VEGFA protein expression was observed. Although there was no significant reverse association between WWOX and RUNX2 expression, a significantly positive relationship was observed between RUNX2 and VEGFA protein expression.

Conclusions

Our data show increased RUNX2 and VEGFA gene copy numbers and elevation of their respective proteins in human OS. Positive correlation of RUNX2 and VEGFA suggests that both increased VEGFA gene copy number and RUNX2 overexpression facilitate increased expression of VEGFA.

Keywords:
Osteosarcoma; WWOX; RUNX2; VEGFA; aCGH,FISH; Gene amplification