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Open Access Highly Accessed Research

Expression of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition-related proteins and their clinical significance in lung adenocarcinoma

Yongli Shi12, Hongyan Wu1, Mingyi Zhang1, Lei Ding3, Fanqing Meng1* and Xiangshan Fan1

Author affiliations

1 Department of Pathology, Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital, the Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School, Nanjing, China

2 Department of Pathology, Huaian No.1 People’s Hospital, Huaian, China

3 Department of Huaiyin Hospital, Huaian, China

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Citation and License

Diagnostic Pathology 2013, 8:89  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-8-89

Published: 24 May 2013

Abstract

Background

Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is defined as switching of polarized epithelial cells to a migratory fibroblastoid phenotype. EMT is known to be involved in the progression and metastasis of various cancers. The aim was to evaluate that whether EMT-related proteins' alterations are associated with clinicopathological features and prognosis in lung adenocarcinoma.

Methods

The expression of EMT-related proteins including cytokeratin, E-cadherin, TTF-1, β-catenin, vimentin, Snail, Twist, CD44 was evaluated by immunohistochemistry using a tissue array method in the lung adenocarcinoma tissues of 95 patients. In addition, clinicopathological characteristics and survival were compared with the expression of EMT-related proteins.

Results

Loss of epithelial proteins and/or acquisition of the expression of mesenchymal proteins were observed in lung adenocarcinoma. These proteins’ alteration was associated with poor cell differentiation and poor patients’ outcome, respectively. Subjects were divided into two groups according to the number of EMT-related proteins’ alteration. A higher number of EMT-related proteins’ alteration was found to be significantly associated with unfavorable outcome. Multivariate analysis showed that a higher number of EMT-related proteins’ alteration was independently associated with poor prognosis.

Conclusions

The number of EMT-related proteins’ alteration is a significant prognostic marker to predict overall survival in patients with lung adenocarcinoma. The information generated will be valuable for the prognosis of patients with lung adenocarcinoma.

Virtual slides

The virtual slides for this article can be found here: http://www.diagnosticpathology.diagnomx.eu/vs/1007838329872974 webcite

Keywords:
Epithelial–mesenchymal transition; Lung adenocarcinoma; Survival analysis; Tissue array analysis