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Cathepsin B, a thiol protease, is involved in cancer metastasis. To clarify the role of cathepsin B in tumor progression in human colorectal cancer, the relationship between its activity, immunohistochemical staining, and clinical tumor progression was investigated. Cathepsin B activity in adenocarcinomas was significantly elevated compared with that in the tumor-bearing tissue. Furthermore, the tumor/tumor-bearing tissue (T/Tb) ratio of the activity was significantly higher than that of colorectal adenoma. Immunohistochemical studies demonstrated intense staining in the cancerous tissue. With respect to the clinical stage of tumors, the activity tended to be higher in tumors that had invaded the serosa or subserosa than in those that invaded the proper muscle. The results suggest that cathepsin B participates in the progression of human colorectal cancer, and its increased expression is a sensitive marker of the differentiation between colorectal adenoma and adenocarcinoma.
Acta Medica Okayama
Okayama University Medical School
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