This study investigated the clinical implications of SETDB1 (also known as KMT1E) in human colon adenocarcinoma. Expression levels of SETDB1 proteins were analyzed by immunohistochemistry staining, and tissue microarrays were used to examine expression profiles in human patients. Our results revealed that SETDB1 protein expression was significantly higher in tumor tissue than in normal tissue for the breast, colon, liver, and lung (p < 0.05). Moreover, an analysis with SurvExpress software suggested that elevated expression of SETDB1 mRNA was significantly associated with the overall survival of colon adenocarcinoma patients (p < 0.05); and additional analysis involving 90 paired samples of colon adenocarcinoma tissue and normal tissue revealed that SETDB1 protein expression was 82% higher in cancerous cells (p < 0.001). High SETDB1 expression was also found to be significantly correlated with histological grade (p = 0.005), TNM stage (p = 0.003), T-class/primary tumor (p = 0.001), and N-class/regional lymph nodes (p = 0.017); and Kaplan–Meier survival curves indicated that SETDB1 protein expression was significantly associated with poor survival. Finally, univariate analysis demonstrated that SETDB1 protein expression was related to TNM stage (p = 0.004) and SETDB1 score (p = 0.001), whereas multivariate analysis showed that the influence of SETDB1 on overall colon adenocarcinoma survival was independent from other risk factors. Taken together, our results suggest that the SETDB1 protein could serve as a clinical prognostic indicator for colon adenocarcinoma.
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