The aim of this study was to investigate the association between UBE2T, a member of the ubiquitin-conjugating E2 family, and lung cancer, which has never been reported to date. Therefore, the expression of UBE2T mRNA was examined in normal human tissues and 8 lung cancer cell lines. Subsequently, UBE2T expression was analyzed in 41 lung cancer tissues by PCR and Western blots, as well as in 103 lung cancer specimens by immunohistochemistry. To further elucidate the possible functional role of UBE2T, the protein was overexpressed in NIH3T3 cells. UBE2T mRNA was highly expressed in all lung cancer cell lines examined, while it could not be detected in normal lung tissue. UBE2T was detected in 75.6% of primary lung cancer tissue samples (n = 41) at mRNA level and in 60.9% at protein level. In addition, positive UBE2T staining was observed in 61% of lung cancer specimens (n = 103), particularly in all immunohistochemically stained small cell carcinoma tissues. In normal lung tissue, only weak staining was observed in the basal cells of bronchial epithelium. Overexpression of UBE2T in NIH3T3 cells significantly promoted colony formation in soft agar medium (p < 0.001). In conclusion, UBE2T was significantly upregulated in lung cancer tissue and cell lines, suggesting involvement of UBE2T in the malignant cell phenotype.
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