Nrf2 Overexpression Predicts Prognosis and 5-FU Resistance in Gastric Cancer

  • Hu, Xiu-Feng (Department of Oncology, Cancer Research Institute, the First Affiliated Hospital of Henan University of Science and Technology) ;
  • Yao, Jun (Department of Oncology, Cancer Research Institute, the First Affiliated Hospital of Henan University of Science and Technology) ;
  • Gao, She-Gan (Department of Oncology, Cancer Research Institute, the First Affiliated Hospital of Henan University of Science and Technology) ;
  • Wang, Xin-Shuai (Department of Oncology, Cancer Research Institute, the First Affiliated Hospital of Henan University of Science and Technology) ;
  • Peng, Xiu-Qing (Department of Oncology, Cancer Research Institute, the First Affiliated Hospital of Henan University of Science and Technology) ;
  • Yang, Yan-Tong (Department of Oncology, Cancer Research Institute, the First Affiliated Hospital of Henan University of Science and Technology) ;
  • Feng, Xiao-Shan (Department of Oncology, Cancer Research Institute, the First Affiliated Hospital of Henan University of Science and Technology)
  • Published : 2013.09.30


Objective: NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is activated in several human malignancies. However, the role of Nrf2 in gastric cancer (GC) remains incompletely understood. In this study, we therefore analyzed associations of Nrf2 expression status with clinical features and chemotherapeutic resistance in GC. Materials and Methods: A total of 186 samples from GC patients who underwent gastrectomy were used for prognostic assessment. A further 142 samples from GC cases who received first-line combination chemotherapy were applied for investigation of chemoresistance. The Nrf2 expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry in GC samples, and its relationship with clinicopathological parameters and chemotherapy sensitivity was analyzed. The effect of Nrf2 gene silencing on chemotherapy resistance was also examined by cell viability assay in vivo. Results: Of the 186 patients with GC, 104/186 (55.9%) showed high expression for Nrf2. The overexpression of Nrf2 was an independent predictor of overall survival [OS, hazard ratio (HR) 3.9; P=0.011] and disease-free survival (DFS, HR 4.3; P=0.002). The gene silencing of Nrf2 reduced resistance to cell death induced by 5-FU in GC cell lines. Conclusion: Our data show that Nrf2 is an independent prognostic factor in GC. Furthermore, Nrf2 confers resistance to chemotherapeutic drug 5-FU in GC cells. Taken together, Nrf2 is a potential prognostic marker and predictive for 5-FU resistance in GC.


Gastric cancer;Nrf2;drug resistance;prognosis


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