Expression of the cytoskeleton linker protein ezrin in human cancers

Benjamin Bruce, Gaurav Khanna, Ling Ren, Goran Landberg, Karin Jirström, Charles Powell, Alain Borczuk, Evan T. Keller, Kirk J. Wojno, Paul Meltzer, Kristin Baird, Andrea McClatchey, Anthony Bretscher, Stephen M. Hewitt, Chand Khanna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


Expression of the metastasis-associated protein, ezrin, in over 5,000 human cancers and normal tissues was analyzed using tissue microarray immunohistochemistry. Ezrin staining was compared between cancers and their corresponding normal tissues, between cancers of epithelial and mesenchymal origin, in the context of the putative inhibitor protein, merlin, and against clinicopathological data available for breast, lung, prostate cancers and sarcomas. Ezrin was found in most cancers and normal tissues at varying levels of intensity. In general ezrin was expressed at higher levels in sarcomas than in carcinomas. By normalizing the expression of ezrin in each cancer using ezrin expression found in the corresponding normal tissue, significant associations between ezrin were found in advancing histological grade in sarcomas (P = 0.02) and poor outcome in breast cancer (P = 0.025). Clinicopathologic associations were not changed by simultaneous assessment of ezrin and merlin in each patient sample for the cancer types examined. These data support a role for ezrin in the biology of human cancers and the need for additional studies in breast cancer and sarcoma patients that may validate ezrin as a marker of cancer progression and as a potential target for cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-78
Number of pages10
JournalClinical and Experimental Metastasis
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomarker
  • Ezrin
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Merlin
  • Prognosis
  • Tissue microarray


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