Background: Endothelial cell protein C receptor (EPCR) is a cellular receptor for protein C and activated protein C (APC). In view of convincing evidence, it seems that EPCR, beyond its effects on coagulation and inflammation, could interfere with carcinogenesis.
Methods: In the present study, we investigated EPCR expression in 60 lung carcinoma tissues and 37 para-carci-noma tissues, and analyzed the relationship between EPCR expression and histopathological parameters, clinical parameters, and vascular density.
Results: In vitro, culturing lung cancer cell lines constitutively expressed EPCR at the level of mRNA and protein. The pathologic results clearly demonstrated that EPCR expression, including membranous and cytoplasmic stain-ing, was significantly higher in carcinoma than that in the para-carcinoma tissues. The EPCR expression was therefore related to tumor size, lymph node metastasis as well as TNM stage. The expression of EPCR was also significantly correlated with microvessel density (MVD).
Conclusions: These observations provide evidence that EPCR may be involved in the carcinogenesis of lung can-cer. It is suggested that EPCR may be a useful biomarker for evaluating the clinical status of lung cancer.