Evidence of COX-1 and COX-2 expression in Kaposi's sarcoma tissues

Luigi Rossiello, Eleonora Ruocco, Giuseppe Signoriello, Pietro Micheli, Monica Rienzo, Claudio Napoli, Raffaele Rossiello

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Cyclooxygenases (COXs) are enzymes catalysing prostaglandin synthesis and are implicated in the carcinogenesis of some cancer types. In addition, an important role of these enzymes in herpesvirus infections was demonstrated and it has recently been proposed that COX-2 may participate in herpesvirus-induced neoplasia such as Kaposi's sarcoma (KS). To date no immunohistochemical study has been performed to determine the identification of COX-1 and COX-2 in KS. We have investigated 35 cases of classic KS and 27 cases of epidemic KS form in order to study the distribution and localisation of COXs. We have examined by immunohistochemistry the expression of COX-1 and COX-2 in classic and epidemic forms of KS also in relationship to the characteristic morphological phases (patch, plaque and nodular stage) of KS and cell localisation by double immunostaining. Moreover, we have obtained COX-1 and COX-2 expression by Western blot analysis. Our results establish that (a) COX-1 and COX-2 are overexpressed significantly in classic and epidemic KS compared with control skin tissues (P <0.01 and P > 0.03, respectively, for COX-1; P <0.01 and P > 0.03, respectively, for COX-2); (b) the extent and intensity staining for both COXs were higher in classic than in epidemic form of KS. Our data support the hypothesis that both COXs may be involved in the pathogenesis of KS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1232-1241
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - May 2007


  • Cancer
  • COX
  • Kaposi's sarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Hematology
  • Oncology

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