CHCHD2 was identified a novel cell migration-promoting gene, which could promote cell migration and altered cell adhesion when ectopically overexpressed in NIH3T3 fibroblasts, and it was identified as a protein necessary for OxPhos function as well. However, the clinic relevance of CHCHD2 expression in NSCLC remains unclear. Here we assumed that CHCHD2 expression would accompanies the expression of HIF-1α to response hypoxia in the occurrence of NSCLC.
In order to verify this hypothesis, correlations among the expression levels of CHCHD2 and HIF-1α were detected and analyzed in 209 pair cases of NSCLC. The expression and location of these molecules were assessed using Immunohistochemistry, immunohistofluorescence, qRT-PCR and western blotting. The differences and correlations of the expression of these two molecules with clinical pathological characteristics in NSCLC were statistically analyzed using Wilcoxon (W) text, Mann-Whitney U, Kruskal-Wallis H and cross-table tests. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate the effect of the expression of CHCHD2 and HIF-1α on the patients’ survival.
Data showed that CHCHD2 and HIF-1α expression were higher in NSCLC than in normal tissues (all P = 0.000). CHCHD2 expression was significantly related with smoking, tumor size, differentiation degree, TNM Stage, lymph metastasis (all P<0.05). The HIF-1α expression was significantly associated with smoking, tumor category, differentiation degree, TNM Stage, Lymph metastasis (all P<0.05). There was a marked correlation of CHCHD2 and HIF-1α expression with histological type, differentiation and lymph metastasis of NSCLC (all P<0.05, r>0.3). Immunohistofluorescence showed that there were co-localization phenomenon in cytoplasm and nucleus between CHCHD2 and HIF-1α expression. NSCLC patients with higher CHCHD2 and HIF-1α expression had a significantly worse prognosis than those with lower CHCHD2 and HIF-1α expression (all P = 0.0001; log-rank test). The multivariate analysis indicated that CHCHD2 expression was an independent prognostic factor in NSCLC (hazard ratio [HR], 0.492, P = 0.001).
Our results indicate that over-expression of CHCHD2 would promote the expression of HIF-1α to adapt the hypoxia microenviroment in NSCLC and CHCHD2 could serves as a prognostic biomarker in NSCLC.