Past Issue

Volume 8, Number 4, Jan-Mar 2015, Pages: 429-436

The Expression of The Autophagy Gene Beclin-1 mRNA and Protein in Ectopic and Eutopic Endometrium of Patients with Endometriosis

Longyu Zhang, M.D., 1, 2, Ying Liu, M.D., 1, Yuping Xu, M.D., 1, Huan Wu, M.D., 1, Zhaolian Wei, M.D., Ph.D, 1, *, Yunxia Cao, M.D., Ph.D, 1, *,
Reproductive Medicine Center, First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China
Anhui No.2 Provincial People’s Hospital, China
* Corresponding Address: Reproductive Medical Center The First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University Hefei Anhui 230032 People’s Republic of China



To investigate the expression of Beclin-1 mRNA and protein in eutopic and ectopic endometrium of women with and without endometriosis, and evaluate the association of Beclin-1 protein expression and serum CA125 levels in the endometriosis group due to CA125 being a well-known biomarker of endometriosis.

Materials and Methods

The expression levels (mean ± SD) of the mRNA and protein of Beclin-1 were examined in uterine endometria from 26 women without endometriosis and in eutopic and ectopic endometria from 26 endometriosis patients through experimental study, as reverse transcription PCR and Western-blotting assays. Serum CA125 levels in the endometriosis and control groups were compared and the correlation between Beclin-1 protein expression and serum CA125 was evaluated in the endometriosis group.


Both eutopic (0.12 ± 0.04, 1.25 ± 0.42) and ectopic (0.12 ± 0.05, 1.09 ± 0.50) endometriotic tissue from 26 women with endometriosis expressed significantly lower levels of Beclin-1 mRNA and protein than endometrium from 26 normal women (0.15 ± 0.02, 1.67 ± 0.44) (p<0.05). Serum CA125 levels were found to be significantly higher in the endometriosis group (p<0.05). In addition, Beclin-1 protein expression of eutopic endometria in patients with endometriosis was negatively correlated with serum CA125 (r= -0.57, p<0.01).


The present study strongly suggests that Beclin-1 may play a role in the formation and progression of endometriosis.