Ribonucleotide reductase small subunit M2 serves as a prognostic biomarker and predicts poor survival of colorectal cancers

Xiyong Liu, Hang Zhang, Lily Lai, Xiaochen Wang, Sofia Loera, Lijun Xue, Huiyin He, Keqiang Zhang, Shuya Hu, Yasheng Huang, Rebecca A. Nelson, Bingsen Zhou, Lun Zhou, Peiguo Chu, Suzhan Zhang, Shu Zheng, Yun Yen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


The overexpression of RRM2 [RR (ribonucleotide reductase) small subunit M2] dramatically enhances the ability of the cancer cell to proliferate and to invade. To investigate further the relevance of RRM2 and CRCs (colorectal cancers), we correlated the expression of RRM2 with the clinical outcome of CRCs. A retrospective outcome study was conducted on CRCs collected from the COH [(City of Hope) National Medical Center, 217 cases] and ZJU (Zhejiang University, 220 cases). IHC (immunohistochemistry) was employed to determine the protein expression level of RRM2, and quantitative real-time PCR was employed to validate. Multivariate logistic analysis indicated that the adjusted ORs (odds ratios) of RRM2-high for distant metastases were 2.06 [95% CI (confidence interval), 1.01-4.30] and 5.89 (95% CI, 1.51-39.13) in the COH and ZJU sets respectively. The Kaplan-Meier analysis displayed that high expression of RRM2 had a negative impact on the OS (overall survival) and PFS (progress-free survival) of CRC in both sets significantly. The multivariate Cox analysis further demonstrated that HRs (hazard ratios) of RRM2-high for OS were 1.88 (95% CI, 1.03-3.36) and 2.06 (95% CI, 1.10-4.00) in the COH and ZJU sets respectively. Stratification analysis demonstrated that the HR of RRM2 dramatically increased to 12.22 (95% CI, 1.62-258.31) in the MMR (mismatch repair) gene-deficient subgroup in the COH set. Meanwhile, a real-time study demonstrated that down-regulation of RRM2 by siRNA (small interfering RNA) could significantly and specifically reduce the cell growth and adhesion ability in HT-29 and HCT-8 cells. Therefore RRM2 is an independent prognostic factor and predicts poor survival of CRCs. It is also a potential predictor for identifying good responders to chemotherapy for CRCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-578
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Science
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Colon
  • Metastasis
  • Prognostic biomarker
  • Rectum
  • Ribonucleotide reductase
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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