Clinical & Experimental Metastasis

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 69–78 | Cite as

Expression of the cytoskeleton linker protein ezrin in human cancers

  • Benjamin Bruce
  • Gaurav Khanna
  • Ling Ren
  • Goran Landberg
  • Karin Jirström
  • Charles Powell
  • Alain Borczuk
  • Evan T. Keller
  • Kirk J. Wojno
  • Paul Meltzer
  • Kristin Baird
  • Andrea McClatchey
  • Anthony Bretscher
  • Stephen M. Hewitt
  • Chand Khanna
Original Paper


Expression of the metastasis-associated protein, ezrin, in over 5,000 human cancers and normal tissues was analyzed using tissue microarray immunohistochemistry. Ezrin staining was compared between cancers and their corresponding normal tissues, between cancers of epithelial and mesenchymal origin, in the context of the putative inhibitor protein, merlin, and against clinicopathological data available for breast, lung, prostate cancers and sarcomas. Ezrin was found in most cancers and normal tissues at varying levels of intensity. In general ezrin was expressed at higher levels in sarcomas than in carcinomas. By normalizing the expression of ezrin in each cancer using ezrin expression found in the corresponding normal tissue, significant associations between ezrin were found in advancing histological grade in sarcomas (P = 0.02) and poor outcome in breast cancer (P = 0.025). Clinicopathologic associations were not changed by simultaneous assessment of ezrin and merlin in each patient sample for the cancer types examined. These data support a role for ezrin in the biology of human cancers and the need for additional studies in breast cancer and sarcoma patients that may validate ezrin as a marker of cancer progression and as a potential target for cancer therapy.


Ezrin Merlin Immunohistochemistry Tissue microarray Biomarker Prognosis 



This research was supported in part by the Intramural Research Program of the NIH, National Cancer Institute, Center for Cancer Research. Benjamin Bruce and Gaurav Khanna completed this work while participating in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellowship. Contributions by the University of Michigan were supported by included National Cancer Institute Grants P01 CA093900 and Specialized Program of Research Excellence 1P50 CA69568.

Supplementary material

10585_2006_9050_MOESM1_ESM.ppt (44 kb)
ESM 1 (PPT 44 kb)
10585_2006_9050_MOESM2_ESM.doc (3.1 mb)
ESM 2 (DOC 3,179 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin Bruce
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gaurav Khanna
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ling Ren
    • 1
  • Goran Landberg
    • 3
  • Karin Jirström
    • 3
  • Charles Powell
    • 4
  • Alain Borczuk
    • 5
  • Evan T. Keller
    • 6
  • Kirk J. Wojno
    • 6
  • Paul Meltzer
    • 7
  • Kristin Baird
    • 7
  • Andrea McClatchey
    • 8
  • Anthony Bretscher
    • 9
  • Stephen M. Hewitt
    • 10
  • Chand Khanna
    • 1
  1. 1.Tumor and Metastasis Biology Section, Center for Cancer ResearchNational Cancer InstituteBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Howard Hughes Medical InstituteBethesdaUSA
  3. 3.Malmö University HospitalLund UniversityMalmöSweden
  4. 4.Department of MedicineColumbia University College of Physicians & SurgeonsNew YorkUSA
  5. 5.Department of PathologyColumbia University College of Physicians & SurgeonsNew YorkUSA
  6. 6.Department of Urology, School of MedicineUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  7. 7.Cancer Genetics BranchNational Human Genome Research InstituteBethesdaUSA
  8. 8.Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical SchoolMass General Hospital Cancer CenterCharlestownUSA
  9. 9.Department of Molecular Biology and GeneticsCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  10. 10.Tissue Array Research Program, Laboratory of Pathology, Center for Cancer ResearchNational Cancer InstituteBethesdaUSA

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