Overexpressed Ostepontin-c as a Potential Biomarker for Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

  • Zhang, Mei-Xiang (Department of Clinical Lab, Nanjing Medical University Cancer Hospital & Jiangsu Cancer Hospital) ;
  • Xu, Yi-Jun (Department of Gastroenterology, Nanjing First Hospital & Nanjing Medical University First Hospital) ;
  • Zhu, Ming-Chen (Department of Clinical Lab, Nanjing Medical University Cancer Hospital & Jiangsu Cancer Hospital) ;
  • Yan, Feng (Department of Clinical Lab, Nanjing Medical University Cancer Hospital & Jiangsu Cancer Hospital)
  • Published : 2013.12.31


Background: The metastasis gene osteopontin (OPN) is subject to alternative splicing, which yields three messages, osteopontin-a, osteopontin-b and osteopontin-c. Osteopontin-c is selectively expressed in invasive, but not in noninvasive tumors. In the present study, we examined the expression of OPN-c in esophageal squamous cell carcinomas (ESCCs) and assessed its value as a diagnostic biomarker. Methods: OPN-c expression was assessed by immunohistochemistry in 63 ESCC samples and correlated with clinicopathologic factors. Expression was also examined in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from 120 ESCC patients and 30 healthy subjects. The role of OPN-c mRNA as a tumor marker was investigated by receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) analysis. Results: Immunohistochemistry showed that OPN-c was expressed in 30 of 63 cancer lesions (48%)and significantly associated with pathological T stage (P=0.038) and overall stage (P=0.023). Real time PCR showed that OPN-c mRNA was expressed at higher levels in the PBMCs of ESCC patients than in those of healthy subjects (P<0.0001) with a sensitivity as an ESCC biomarker of 86.7%. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that expression of OPN-c is significantly elevated in ESCCs and this upregulation could be a potential diagnostic marker.


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