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N-cadherin, a novel prognostic biomarker, drives malignant progression of colorectal cancer

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Recent studies have indicated that the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a key molecular mechanism involved in the development of colorectal cancer (CRC). N-cadherin is a mesenchymal marker of the EMT and has been closely linked to several human malignancies. However, its role in CRC has remained elusive. In the present study, qRTPCR and western blot analysis indicated that Ncadherin expression was higher in tumor tissues than in that in their adjacent normal tissues. Immunohistochemical evaluation of Ncadherin and Ecadherin (an epithelial marker of the EMT), indicated that Ncadherin expression was significantly associated with tumor differentiation, tumor size as well as tumor, nodes and metastasis stage. Correlation analysis suggested the expression of Ncadherin was negatively correlated with that of Ecadherin in CRC tissues. KaplanMeier analysis indicated that patients with high Ncadherin expression had a significantly lower overall survival and diseasefree survival rate than those with low Ncadherin expression, while the opposite was found for Ecadherin. Of note, the present study found that high Ncadherin expression was an independent prognostic factor for CRC. In vitro assays showed that Ncadherin was widely expressed in CRC cell lines and silencing of Ncadherin suppressed the proliferation and migration of the CRC cell line HT29 by upregulating Ecadherin, suggesting a potential role of Ncadherin in inducing EMT. In conclusion, the present study suggested that Ncadherin has the potential of serving as a novel prognostic predictor and a promising therapeutic target for CRC.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Surgery, Sixth People's Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200233, P.R. China

Publication date: August 1, 2015

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  • Molecular Medicine Reports is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal available in print and online, that includes studies devoted to molecular medicine, underscoring aspects including pharmacology, pathology, genetics, neurosciences, infectious diseases, molecular cardiology and molecular surgery. In vitro and in vivo studies of experimental model systems pertaining to the mechanisms of a variety of diseases offer researchers the necessary tools and knowledge with which to aid the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases.
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