G-protein inwardly rectifying potassium channel 1 (GIRK1) is thought to play a role in cell proliferation in cancer, and GIRK1 gene expression level may define a more aggressive phenotype. We detected GIRK1 expression in tissue specimens from patients with non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) and assessed their clinical characteristics. Using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analyses, we quantified the expression of GIRK1 in 72 patients with NSCLCs to investigate the relationship between GIRK1 expression and clinicopathologic factors and prognosis. In 72 NSCLC patients, 50 (69%) samples were evaluated as having high GIRK1 gene expression, and 22 (31%) were evaluated as having low GIRK1 gene expression. GIRK1 gene expression was significantly associated with lymph node metastasis, stage (p = 0.0194 for lymph node metastasis; p = 0.0207 for stage). The overall and stage I survival rates for patients with high GIRK1 gene expressed tumors was significantly worse than for those individuals whose tumors had low GIRK1 expression (p = 0.0004 for the overall group; p = 0.0376 for stage I). These data indicate that GIRK1 may contribute to tumor progression and GIRK1 gene expression can serve as a useful prognostic marker in the overall and stage I NSCLCs.
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