Cathepsin D as a potential prognostic marker for lung adenocarcinoma

Takahiro Mimae, Koji Tsuta, Akiko M. Maeshima, Morihito Okada, Hisao Asamura, Tadashi Kondo, Hitoshi Tsuda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


We previously identified cathepsin D as a possible marker for lung adenocarcinoma (AD). The purpose of the present study is to evaluate the correlation between cathepsin D expression and clinicopathological findings or prognosis. We conducted immunohistochemistry (IHC) to assess 150 AD tissues. For these 150 tumors, TTF-1 expression, . EGFR and . KRAS gene mutations, and . ALK rearrangements had already been examined. Cathepsin D expression was detected in 44% (66 of 150, IHC score ≥1+) and 27.3% (41 of 150, IHC score ≥2+). Cathepsin D-positive (IHC score ≥2+) tumors were more poorly differentiated than cathepsin D-negative ones, while all lepidic predominant invasive adenocarcinomas showed no cathepsin D expression. Univariate analysis revealed a poor prognosis for cathepsin D-positive lung AD patients with an IHC score ≥2+ (. P=. 0.044). Cathepsin D expression was more frequent in TTF-1-negative than in TTF-1-positive ADs (. P=. 0.034), and more frequent in ADs with . EGFR wild genotype than mutant . EGFR (. P<. 0.001). Regarding AD patients with . ALK rearrangements, 4 were positive for Cathepsin D, while 2 were negative. Cathepsin D expression is indicated to be a possible prognostic marker for lung AD and to correlate with a more poorly differentiated form.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)534-540
Number of pages7
JournalPathology Research and Practice
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Sept 15
Externally publishedYes


  • Cathepsin D
  • Differentiation
  • Lung adenocarcinoma
  • Predictive factor
  • Tumor marker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Cell Biology


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