Non-invasive detection of fecal protein kinase C betaII and zeta messenger RNA: putative biomarkers for colon cancer. Academic Article uri icon


  • We have developed a non-invasive method utilizing feces, containing sloughed colonocytes, as a sensitive technique for detecting diagnostic colonic biomarkers. In this study, we used the rat colon carcinogenesis model to determine if changes in fecal protein kinase C (PKC) expression have predictive value in monitoring the neoplastic process. Weanling rats were injected with saline or azoxymethane (AOM) and 36 weeks later fecal samples and mucosa were collected, poly A+ RNA isolated, and quantitative RT-PCR performed using primers to PKC betaII and zeta. Fecal PKC betaII and zeta mRNA levels were altered by the presence of a tumor, with tumor-bearing animals having a 3-fold higher (P < 0.05) PKC betaII expression as compared with animals without tumors. In addition, AOM-injection increased mucosal PKC betaII mRNA expression compared with saline controls. No effect of tumor incidence on mucosal PKC betaII expression was observed. In contrast, fecal PKC zeta expression was 2.5-fold lower (P < 0.05) in animals injected with azoxymethane versus saline. Since tumor incidence exerts a reciprocal effect on fecal PKC betaII and zeta mRNA expression, data were also expressed as the ratio between PKC betaII and zeta. The isozyme ratio was strongly related to tumor incidence, i.e. ratio for animals with tumors was 2.18 +/- 1.25, animals without tumors was 0.50 +/- 0.16, P = 0.025. We demonstrate that the expression of fecal PKC betaII and zeta may serve as a noninvasive marker for development of colon tumors. A sensitive technique for the detection of colon cancer is of importance since early diagnosis can substantially reduce mortality.

published proceedings

  • Carcinogenesis

altmetric score

  • 6

author list (cited authors)

  • Davidson, L. A., Aymond, C. M., Jiang, Y. H., Turner, N. D., Lupton, J. R., & Chapkin, R. S.

citation count

  • 38

complete list of authors

  • Davidson, LA||Aymond, CM||Jiang, YH||Turner, ND||Lupton, JR||Chapkin, RS

publication date

  • February 1998