Plasma Lysyl-tRNA Synthetase 1 (KARS1) as a novel diagnostic and prognostic biomarker for colorectal cancer

Sunghoon Kim, Ji Hun Suh, Min Chul Park, Goughnour Peter , Byung Soh Min, Sangbum Kim, WooYoung Lee, Young Beom Cho, Jae Hee Cheon, Kang Young Lee, Do-Hyun Nam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the leading causes of world cancer deaths. To improve the survival rate of CRC, diagnosis and post-operative monitoring is necessary. Currently, biomarkers are used for CRC diagnosis and prognosis. However, these biomarkers have limitations of specificity and sensitivity. Levels of plasma lysyl-tRNA synthetase (KARS1), which was reported to be secreted from colon cancer cells by stimuli, along with other secreted aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (ARSs), were analyzed in CRC and compared with the currently used biomarkers. The KARS1 levels of CRC patients (n = 164) plasma were shown to be higher than those of healthy volunteers (n = 32). The diagnostic values of plasma KARS1 were also evaluated by receiving operating characteristic (ROC) curve. Compared with other biomarkers and ARSs, KARS1 showed the best diagnostic value for CRC. The cancer specificity and burden correlation of plasma KARS1 level were validated using azoxymethane (AOM)/dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) model, and paired pre- and post-surgery CRC patient plasma. In the AOM/DSS model, the plasma level of KARS1 showed high correlation with number of polyps, but not for inflammation. Using paired pre- and post-surgery CRC plasma samples (n = 60), the plasma level of KARS1 was significantly decreased in post-surgery samples. Based on these evidence, KARS1, a surrogate biomarker reflecting CRC burden, can be used as a novel diagnostic and post-operative monitoring biomarker for CRC.

Keywords: colorectal cancer; diagnosis; lysyl-tRNA synthetase; monitoring; noninvasive method; serologic biomarker.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533
JournalJournal of clinical medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Feb 15


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