Focal adhesion kinase expression in human neuroblastoma: immunohistochemical and real-time PCR analyses

Academic Article


  • Purpose: The focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is a nonreceptor protein tyrosine kinase important in signaling between cells and their extracellular matrix. Studies have shown that FAK expression is up-regulated in several human tumors and is related to tumor progression. We recently found an increase in p125 FAK expression in human neuroblastoma cells lines and wished to determine its expression in human neuroblastoma specimens and evaluate for a possible correlation between p125FAK expression and known prognostic factors for neuroblastoma. We hypothesized that p125FAK expression would be up-regulated in advanced human neuroblastomas. Experimental Design: Using immunohistochemical techniques with monoclonal antibody 4.47 specific for p125FAK expression, we analyzed 70 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded human neuroblastoma specimens for p125FAK staining. In addition, real-time PCR was used to determine the abundance of FAK mRNA in 17 matched human neuroblastoma mRNA specimens. Results: FAK staining was present in 51 of the 70 tumor specimens (73%). Immunohistochemical staining of p125FAK in the ganglion-type tumor cells correlated with advanced International Neuroblastoma Staging System tumor stages and FAK mRNA abundance. In addition, p125FAK staining was significantly increased in stage IV tumors with amplification of the N-MYC oncogene. Conclusions: These novel findings provide evidence that FAK is expressed by advanced-stage neuroblastoma and provide a rationale for targeting FAK in the treatment of this tumor. © 2008 American Association for Cancer Research.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Beierle EA; Massoll NA; Hartwich J; Kurenova EV; Golubovskaya VM; Cance WG; McGrady P; London WB
  • Start Page

  • 3299
  • End Page

  • 3305
  • Volume

  • 14
  • Issue

  • 11