Diagnostic relevance of overexpressed serine threonine tyrosine kinase/novel oncogene with kinase domain (STYK1/ NOK) mRNA in colorectal cancer
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Background: Alterations in gene expression levels or mutations of tyrosine kinases are detected in some human cancers. In this study, we examined whether serine threonine tyrosine kinase 1 (STYK1)/novel oncogene with kinase domain (NOK) is overexpressed in patients with colorectal cancer. We also examined the clinical relevance of STYK1/NOK expression in cancer tissues. Materials and Methods: In tumor samples of patients with colorectal cancer and their matched non-cancerous samples, STYK1/NOK messenger RNA (mRNA) expression was analyzed by quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Associations between the expression levels of STYK1/NOK and clinicopathological characteristics of colorectal cancer were also assessed using Mann-Whitney U and Kruskal-Wallis tests. Results: Upregulation of STYK1/NOK was found in cancer tissues even at early stage of colorectal cancer compared to normal adjacent tissues. The optimal cutoff point of 0.198 the STYK1/NOK expression showed 0.78 sensitivity and 0.75 specificity for diagnosis. Overexpressed STYK1/NOK was correlated with tumor size but had no association with other clinicopathological characteristics of colorectal cancer. Conclusions: These results indicate that STYK1/NOK mRNA is widely expressed in the patients with colorectal cancer and suggest that inhibition of this molecule could potentially serve as a novel therapeutic target.