Background: Human apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP) endonuclease 1 (APE1) plays a critical role in DNA base excision repair (BER) pathway and has been reported to be overexpressed in multiple cancers. Previously, we have shown that histone chaperone FACT complex (Facilitates Chromatin Transcription, a heterodimer of SSRP1 and SPT16 proteins) facilitates the chromatin access and DNA repair function of APE1, and their expression levels are correlated with promoting drug resistance in cancer. FACT inhibitor has been introduced in phase I and II clinical trials for chemosensitization of advanced solid cancers. However, the expression profile and prognostic significance of APE1 and FACT complex in bladder cancer remains largely unknown. Methods: Retrospectively, 69 bladder cancer samples were retrieved and submitted for immunohistochemical staining of APE1 and SSRP1. Expression profile including cytoplasmic and nuclear staining of APE1 and expression level of SSRP1 was examined and semi-quantified to render a H-score. The prognostic significance of APE1 and SSRP1 was evaluated by Kaplan-Meier survival analysis in our cohort and R2 database. Results: APE1 expression is elevated in bladder cancer compared to normal adjacent tissues. Compared with low grade tumors, high grade tumors show a shift in the staining pattern including higher intensity and positive cytoplasmic staining. Carcinoma in situ has a similar staining pattern to high grade tumors. APE1 and SSRP1 staining intensity increases as tumor progresses with stage. There is a correlation between APE1 and SSRP1 staining in invasive bladder cancer (Spearman r = 0.5466, p < 0.0001). The increased expression of APE1 and SSRP1 is associated with poor survival in Kaplan-Meier analysis in our cohort and in R2-TCGA bladder cancer database. Conclusions: The expression levels of APE1 and SSRP1 are significantly elevated in bladder cancer as compared to normal adjacent tissues. APE1 correlates with SSRP1 expression in high grade tumors. Overexpression of APE1 and SSRP1 is associated with poor survival in bladder cancer. This suggests the usage of FACT inhibitor curaxins in muscle invasive bladder cancer to target FACT complex and APE1 to improve chemosensitization after further validation.
- Bladder cancer
ASJC Scopus subject areas