Neurocan expression associates with better survival and viral positivity in Merkel cell carcinoma

Marko Salmikangas, Maria Laaksonen, Henrik Edgren, Marco Salgado, Anu Suoranta, Pirkko Mattila, Virve Koljonen, Tom Böhling, Harri Sihto

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review


Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare cutaneous neuroendocrine carcinoma that is frequently divided into Merkel cell polyomavirus negative and positive tumors due their distinct genomic and transcriptomic profiles, and disease outcomes. Although some prognostic factors in MCC are known, tumorigenic pathways, which that explain outcome differences in MCC are not fully understood. We investigated transcriptomes of 110 tissue samples of a formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded MCC series by RNA sequencing to identify genes showing a bimodal expression pattern and predicting outcome in cancer and that potentially could play a role in tumorigenesis. We discovered 19 genes among which IGHM, IGKC, NCAN, OTOF, and USH2A were associated also with overall survival (all p-values < 0.05). From these genes, NCAN (neurocan) expression was detected in all 144 MCC samples by immunohistochemistry. Increased NCAN expression was associated with presence of Merkel cell polyomavirus DNA (p = 0.001) and viral large T antigen expression in tumor tissue (p = 0.004) and with improved MCC-specific survival (p = 0.027) and overall survival (p = 0.034). We conclude that NCAN expression is common in MCC, and further studies are warranted to investigate its role in MCC tumorigenesis.
TidskriftPLoS One
Antal sidor10
StatusPublicerad - 5 maj 2023
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


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