A novel human nuclear receptor interaction protein (NRIP) has recently been discovered by Chen SL et al, which may play a role in enhancing the transcriptional activity of steroid nuclear receptors in prostate (LNCaP) and cervical (C33A) cancer cell lines. However, knowledge about the biological functions and clinical implications of NRIP, is still incomplete. Our aim was to determine the distribution of NRIP expression and to delineate the cell types that express NRIP in various malignant tumors and healthy non-pathological tissues. This information will significantly affect the exploration of its physiological roles in healthy and tumor cells.
By using tissue microarray (TMA) technology and an anti-NRIP monoclonal antibody immunohistochemical (IHC) survey, NRIP expression was examined in 48 types of tumors and in a control group of 48 matched or unmatched healthy non-neoplastic tissues.
Our survey results showed that ten cases were revealed to express the NRIP in six malignancies (esophageal, colon, breast, ovarian, skin, and pancreatic cancers), but not all of these specific tumor types consistently showed positive NRIP expression. Moreover, malignant tumors of the stomach, prostate, liver, lung, kidney, uterine cervix, urinary bladder, lymph node, testis, and tongue revealed no NRIP expression. Among the control group of 48 matched and unmatched non-neoplastic tissues, all of them demonstrated IHC scores less than the cut-off threshold of 3. In addition, ten cores out of thirty-six carcinomatous tissues revealed positive NRIP expression, which indicated that NRIP expression increases significantly in carcinoma tissue cores, comparing to the matched controlled healthy tissues.
This is the first study to use a human TMA and IHC to validate the nuclear localization for this newly identified NRIP expression. In considering the use of NRIP as a potential diagnostic tool for human malignancies survey, it is important to note that NRIP expression carries a sensitivity of only 23%, but has a specificity of 100%. There is also a significant difference in positive NRIP expression between primary carcinomatous tissues and matched controlled healthy tissues. Although further large-scale studies will merit to be conducted to evaluate its role as a potential adjunct for cancer diagnosis, data from this study provides valuable references for the future investigation of the biological functions of NRIP in humans.