Evaluation of serum and tissue levels of VAP-1 in colorectal cancer

Stephen T Ward*, Christopher J Weston, Emma Louise Shepherd, Rahul Hejmadi, Tariq Ismail, David H. Adams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The endothelial adhesion molecule, vascular adhesion protein-1 (VAP-1, AOC3) promotes lymphocyte recruitment to tumours, although the contribution that VAP-1 makes to lymphocyte recruitment in human colorectal cancer (CRC) is unknown. VAP-1 exists in circulating soluble form (sVAP-1). A previous study demonstrated elevated sVAP-1 levels in CRC patients. The aim of this study was to confirm this finding and study the differences in tissue VAP-1 expression between CRC and healthy tissues.

METHODS: sVAP-1 levels were measured in the serum of 31 patients with CRC and 31 age- and sex-matched controls. Tissue VAP-1 levels were measured by immunohistochemistry, quantitative real-time PCR and Western blotting.

RESULTS: The mean sVAP-1 level ± SD was significantly lower in the CRC group compared with the control group (399 ± 138 ng/ml versus 510 ± 142 ng/ml, P = 0.003). Tissue VAP-1 protein and mRNA levels were significantly lower in CRC compared with normal colon tissue. VAP-1 immunostaining was practically absent from CRC.

CONCLUSIONS: VAP-1 is downregulated in human CRC and although the molecular basis of this down regulation is not yet known, we suggest it may be part of a mechanism used by the tumour to prevent the recruitment of anti-tumour immune cells. Our data contradicts the findings of others with regard sVAP-1 levels in patients with CRC. Possible reasons for this are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number154
Number of pages8
JournalBMC Cancer
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2016

Bibliographical note

© 2016 The Author(s). Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Funding Information:
This article presents independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Medical Research Council (MR/J009962/1) and the Bowel Disease Research Foundation (BDRF).


  • VAP-1,
  • AOC3
  • Colorectal Cancel
  • Tumor Markers


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