1. Provincial Clinical College, Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou 350001, China.
2. Department of Clinical Laboratory, Fujian Provincial Hospital, Fuzhou 350001, China.
3. Department of Thoracic Surgery, Fujian Provincial Hospital, Fuzhou 350001, China.
4. Center for Experimental Research in Clinical Medicine, Fujian Provincial Hospital, Fuzhou 350001, China.
Objective: The aberrant expression of tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) is responsible for the release of large amounts of autoantibodies in sera, and serum autoantibody detection has been demonstrated to contribute to the early diagnosis of malignancies. Recent studies showed the closely correlation of transcriptional intermediary factor-1γ (TIF1γ) with some malignancies. In our pilot study, we found aberrantly high expression of TIF1γ protein existed in cancer tissues other than matched paracancerous tissues of patients with lung cancer (LC) at early stage by immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining. As a result, this study aims to detect the expression of autoantibodies against TIF1γ in sera of patients with LC at early stage by using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and investigate its potential value for the early diagnosis of LC.
Methods: The expressions of TIF1γ protein in 60 pairs of LC tissues and matched paracancerous tissues were detected by IHC staining. The levels of anti-TIF1γ-IgA, IgG, IgM, and IgE in the sera of 248 patients with LC at early stage, 200 patients with lung benign lesions (LBL), and 218 healthy controls (HC) were detected by ELISA, respectively. Western blot was used to validate the ELISA results of serum autoantibodies against TIF1γ.
Results: The positive rate of TIF1γ protein expression in LC tissues was 83.33%, which was significantly higher than 25.00% in paracancerous tissues (P<0.01). The levels and positive rates of serum anti-TIF1γ-IgM and anti-TIF1γ-IgE in early LC group had no significant difference from that in LBL group and HC group (P>0.05), while the levels and positive rates of anti-TIF1γ-IgA and anti-TIF1γ-IgG were significantly higher than that in LBL group and HC group (P<0.01), of which anti-TIF1γ-IgA showed the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of 0.704 for the patients with LC at early stage, with 28.20% sensitivity at 95.93% specificity, and anti-TIF1γ-IgG showed the AUC of 0.622 for the patients with LC at early stage, with 18.54% sensitivity at 94.25% specificity. The results of anti-TIF1γ-IgA and anti-TIF1γ-IgG in western blot were consistent with that in ELISA. Additionally, the combination of anti-TIF1γ-IgA and anti-TIF1γ-IgG improved the AUC to 0.734, with 38.31% sensitivity at 92.34% specificity.
Conclusions: There is a strong humoral immune response to autologous TIF1γ existing in patients with early LC. Both serum anti-TIF1γ-IgA and anti-TIF1γ-IgG show the diagnostic value for the patients with LC at early stage, of which anti-TIF1γ-IgA is donstrated to be a preferable biomarker, and the combined detection of anti-TIF1γ-IgA and anti-TIF1γ-IgG might contribute to the further improvement of early diagnosis for LC.
Keywords: transcriptional intermediary factor-1γ, autoantibody, lung cancer, early diagnosis, combined detection