Correlation between the high expression levels of cancer-germline genes with clinical characteristics in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

Abstract

Antigens encoded by cancer-germline genes are attractive targets for cancer immunotherapy. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the mRNA expression of cancer-germline genes, expression of the encoded proteins in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and their correlations with clinical characteristics. In addition, the effects of downregulation cancer-germline genes on ESCC cells were assessed in vitro. Our results showed that cancer-germline genes were frequently expressed in ESCC samples. The positive rates of in ESCC samples were: 87% of MAGE-A3, 60% of MAGE-A4, 65% of MAGE-C2, and 20% of NY-ESO-1 at mRNA level. MAGE-A3 expression was associated with age, lymph node metastasis and tumor stage (all P<0.05), while MAGE-C2 expression was only associated with tumor stage (P<0.05). Furthermore, the MAGE-A3 expressing patients had a poorer overall survival (P<0.05). Multivariate analysis identified MAGE-A3 as an independent poor prognostic marker in ESCC. In vitro assay, ESCC cell lines treated with specific siRNAs to down-regulate MAGE-A3 and MAGE-C2 resulted in decreased colony-formation and migration ability (P<0.05). Epithelial marker E-cadherin was up-regulated in siRNA-MAGE-A3/C2 cells compared to controls, whereas mesenchymal markers Vimentin, N-cadherin and Slug were downregulated (all P<0.05), suggesting a role for MAGE-A3/C2 in ESCC metastasis through inducing epithelial-mesenchymal transition. The present study revealed that cancer-germline genes and their encoded proteins were frequently expressed in ESCC tumor samples and were related to poor prognosis. Thus, cancer-germline genes may serve as useful biomarkers and potential targets for ESCC patients.

DOI: 10.14670/HH-11-847

Cite this paper

@article{Chen2017CorrelationBT, title={Correlation between the high expression levels of cancer-germline genes with clinical characteristics in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.}, author={Xinfeng Chen and Liping Wang and Dongli Yue and Jinyan Liu and Lan Huang and Li Yang and Ling Ling Cao and Guohui Qin and Anqi Li and Jun Wang and Meng Wang and Yu Qi and Bin Zhang and Pierre van der Bruggen and Yi Zhang}, journal={Histology and histopathology}, year={2017}, volume={32 8}, pages={793-803} }