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© 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Objectives: We investigated the role of lysosomal biogenesis and hydrolase activity in the clinical behavior and postoperative outcome of lung cancer. Materials and methods: Using immunohistochemistry we investigated the expression of the transcription factor EB (TFEB) which orchestrates lysosomal biogenesis, the lysosome membrane protein LAMP2a and of the lysosomal hydrolase cathepsin D in a series of 98 non-small cell lung carcinomas (NSCLC) treated with surgery alone. In vitro experiments with the A549 and H1299 lung cancer cell lines were also performed. Results: Overexpression of TFEB, LAMP2a and Cathepsin D was noted in 47/98 (47.9%), 43/98 (43.9%) and 39/98 (39.8%) cases, respectively, and were significantly correlated with each other and with adenocarcinomas. High LAMP2a was related to high histology grade. Linear regression analysis confirmed significant association of TFEB with BNIP3 (p = 0.0003, r= 0.35) and LC3A with LAMP2a expression (p = 0.0002, r= 0.37). An inverse association of Cathepsin D expression with stone-like structures (SLS) was recorded (p = 0.02, r= 0.22). On univariate analysis all three lyososomal variables were associated with poor prognosis (p = 0.05, 0.04 and 0.01, for TFEB, Cathepsin D and LAMP2a, respectively). Multivariate analysis showed that the SLS number (p = 0.0001, HR5.37), Cathepsin D expression (p = 0.01, HR = 2.2) and stage (p = 0.01, HR = 1.5) were independent prognostic variables. Silencing of TFEB with siRNAs in the A549 and H1299 lung cancer cell lines did not affect proliferation but resulted in reduced migration ability. Conclusion: Lysosomal biogenesis is linked to autophagosomal protein expression in NSCLC and characterizes subgroups of high risk patients after complete surgical lung tumor resection.

Original publication




Journal article


Lung Cancer

Publication Date





98 - 105