Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is an important factor in cancer invasiveness and metastatic progression. During EMT, cancer cells acquire stem cell properties. The role of EMT and stemness in colon cancer has not been fully understood. We aimed to demonstrate the clinical significance
of EMT and the stem cell phenotype in colorectal cancer. Two hundred and thirty-one surgically resected colon cancer cases were included in the present study. mRNAs of E-cadherin, TWIST1 and SNAI1 were analyzed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) (n=109). Immunohistochemical
staining was performed for six markers (ALDH1, TGF-β1, E-cadherin, β-catenin, TWSIT1 and SNAI1) (n=231). We assessed clinicopathological characteristics according to the expression of the stem cell phenotype and EMT markers. Based on the results of qRT-PCR, TWIST1 and SNAI1 significantly
influenced node metastasis (P=0.04 and P=0.02, respectively). High TWIST1 and SNAI1 mRNA expression was associated with poor overall survival according to the univariate analysis (P<0.01 and P=0.01, respectively) and the multivariate analysis (P=0.04 and P=0.04, respectively). ALDH1 expression
as detected by immunohistochemical staining was associated with high nodal stage, advanced clinical stage, lymphatic invasion and poor survival (P=0.01, P=0.04, P<0.05 and P<0.01, respectively) and with the expression of TGF-β1 and β-catenin. In conclusion, in human colorectal
cancer, the EMT markers TWIST1 and SNAI1 are suggested as important markers of poor prognosis. Their expression is associated with the expression of putative stem cell marker ALDH1, and ALDH1 is associated with the expression of TGF-β1.
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Document Type: Research Article
Department of Medicine, The Graduate School, CHA University, Bundang-gu, Seongnam 463-712, Republic of Korea
Department of Pathology, Bundang CHA Medical Center, CHA University, Bundang-gu, Seongnam 463-712, Republic of Korea
Digestive Disease Center, Bundang CHA Medical Center, CHA University, Bundang-gu, Seongnam 463-712, Republic of Korea
Publication date: March 1, 2014
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