Indian Journal of Pathology and Microbiology
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Expression of EZH2 and H3K27me3 predicts tumor biology of urothelial carcinoma

1 Department of Pathology and Lab Medicine, AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
2 Department of Urology, AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

Correspondence Address:
Suvendu Purkait,
Associate Professor, Department of Pathology and Lab Medicine, AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, - 751 019, Odisha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijpm.ijpm_1267_21

Background: Enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) is one of the major epigenetic modifiers involved in the transcriptional repression of target genes through trimethylation of H3K27 (lysine 27 residue of histone H3). Deregulated expression of both EZH2 and H3K27me3 has been implicated in the biological behavior and prognostic outcome of various malignancies. Aim: To assess the role of EZH2 and H3K27me3 in the carcinogenesis of urothelial carcinoma of urinary bladder. Methodology: One hundred fifty consecutive urothelial carcinoma cases of urinary bladder (54.7% high-grade) were included in this study. Immunohistochemical analysis for EZH2 and H3K27me3 was performed on whole tissue sections. A multiplication score obtained by multiplying staining intensity and proportion of positively stained neoplastic cells was used for assessment. Results: EZH2 showed a significant correlation with the tumor grade and lamina propria invasion (p < 0.001). The cases with high EZH2 expression showed a significantly high proliferative index (Mean- 32.7%; p < 0.001). In contrast, negative and low expression of H3K27me3 was significantly more common in high-grade cases (p = 0.006). The expression of H3K27me3 was significantly associated with lamina propria (p = 0.01) and deep muscle invasion (p = 0.007). EZH2 showed a significantly higher expression in the high-grade invasive areas as compared to the high-grade non-invasive areas of the same tumor (p = 0.03). Conclusions: This study establishes an important role of the key epigenetic regulators EZH2 and H3K27me3 in the pathobiology of urothelial carcinomas. Strong expression of EZH2 and weak expression of H3K27me3 are associated with higher grade, proliferative index and invasive behavior.

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