Claudins are integral membrane proteins that are involved in forming cellular tight junctions. One member of the claudin family, claudin-3, has been shown to be overexpressed in breast, ovarian, and pancreatic cancer. Here we use immunohistochemistry to evaluate its expression in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN), normal tissue adjacent to prostatic adenocarcinoma (NAC), primary prostatic adenocarcinoma (PCa), and metastatic prostatic adenocarcinoma (Mets).
Tissue microarrays were immunohistochemically stained for claudin-3, with the staining intensities subsequently quantified and statistically analyzed using a one-way ANOVA with subsequent Tukey tests for multiple comparisons or a nonparametric equivalent. Fifty-three cases of NAC, 17 cases of BPH, 35 cases of PIN, 107 cases of PCa, and 55 cases of Mets were analyzed in the microarrays.
PCa and Mets had the highest absolute staining for claudin-3. Both had significantly higher staining than BPH (p < 0.05 in both cases) and NAC (p < 0.05 in both cases). PIN had a lower, but non-significant, staining score than PCa and Mets, but a statistically higher score than both BPH and NAC (p < 0.05 for both cases). No significant differences were observed between PCa, Mets, and PIN.
To our knowledge, this represents one of the first studies comparing the immunohistochemical profiles of claudin-3 in PCa and NAC to specimens of PIN, BPH, and Mets. These findings provide further evidence that claudin-3 may serve as an important biomarker for prostate cancer, both primary and metastatic, but does not provide evidence that claudin-3 can be used to predict risk of metastasis.