Objectives: To evaluate the relationship between phosphatase of regenerating liver 3 (PRL3) expression and clinical outcome in colorectal cancer (CRC). Background: PRL3, a protein tyrosine phosphatase functions as one of the key regulatory enzymes of various signal transduction pathways. PRL3 is highly expressed in a majority of cancers and is a novel potential therapeutic target. Methods: PRL3 expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry in 167 patients with CRC, 37 patients with no disease, and 26 patients with metastatic CRC (mCRC). Phosphorylated Akt at serine 473 (p-Akt S473) expression was also evaluated by immunohistochemistry in mCRC patients. Results: High expression of PRL3 was correlated with CRC progression, and every one unit increase in PRL3 level contributed to an increase in the rate of death by 1%–1.7%. PRL3 expression was significantly higher in liver metastases compared with primary tumors and showed a significant positive correlation with the expression level of p-Akt S473. Conclusion: PRL3 expression levels associated with CRC progression and metastasis, and positively correlated with activated Akt level in mCRC. Together, these findings indicated that PRL3 might be a potential marker for increased risk of CRC-specific tumor burden and identify PRL3 as an attractive therapeutic target for mCRC treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-51
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Akt
  • CRC
  • PRL3
  • cell survival
  • metastasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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