Objectives: Cervical cancer is one of the most common gynecological malignancies worldwide, and its association with the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is still unknown. We aimed to investigate the clinical correlation between AMPK expression and cervical cancer. Methods: The expression of AMPKα1, AMPKα2 and phosphorylated AMPKα (p-AMPKα) was determined immunohistochemically in 524 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded malignant and premalignant cervical tissues. Subsequently, associations with clinicopathological characteristics and patient survival were assessed. Results: AMPKα2 expression was observed in the cytoplasm and nucleus, while expression of AMPKα1 and p-AMPKα was mainly observed in the cytoplasm. p-AMPKα expression increased during the normal-to-tumor transition of cervical carcinoma (p < 0.001), but, once cancer developed, the expression of AMPKα2 and p-AMPKα decreased in large-sized tumors when compared to smaller tumors (36 vs. 68%, p = 0.004 and 39 vs. 64%, p = 0.029, respectively). Notably, AMPKα2 expression was significantly associated with better disease-free survival (HR 0.29, 95% CI 0.10-0.86, p = 0.026). Conclusion: The AMPKα2 isoform showed potential as a favorable prognostic marker in cervical cancer. Therefore, additional studies are necessary to further clarify the complex contribution of AMPK isoforms and of phosphorylation status to cervical cancer progression and prognosis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology