Correlation of Overexpression of Nestin with Expression of Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition-Related Proteins in Gastric Adenocarcinoma

  • Liu, Jin-Kai (Cancer Research Institute, First School of Clinical Medicine, Southern Medical University) ;
  • Chen, Wan-Cheng (Department of Hematology, First School of Clinical Medicine, Southern Medical University) ;
  • Ji, Xiao-Zhen (Cancer Research Institute, First School of Clinical Medicine, Southern Medical University) ;
  • Zheng, Wen-Hong (Cancer Research Institute, First School of Clinical Medicine, Southern Medical University) ;
  • Han, Wei (Cancer Research Institute, First School of Clinical Medicine, Southern Medical University) ;
  • An, Jing (Cancer Research Institute, First School of Clinical Medicine, Southern Medical University)
  • Published : 2015.04.14


Background: Nestin is associated with neoplastic transformation. However, the mechanisms by which nestin contributes regarding invasion and malignancy of gastric adenocarcinoma (GAC) remain unknown. Recent studies have shown that the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is important in invasion and migration of cancer cells. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the expression of nestin and its correlation with EMT-related proteins in GAC. Materials and Methods: The expression of nestin and EMT-related proteins was examined in GAC specimens and cell lines by immunohistochemistry and Western blotting. Clinicopathological features and survival outcomes were retrospectively analyzed. Results: Positive nestin immunostaining was most obviously detected in the cytoplasm, nucleus or both cytoplasm and nucleus of tumor cells in 19.2% (24/125) of GAC tissues, which was significantly higher than that in normal gastric mucosa tissues (1.7%, 1/60) (p=0.001). Nestin expression was closely related to several clinicopathological factors and EMT-related proteins (E-cadherin, vimentin and Snail) and displayed a poor prognosis. Interestingly, simultaneous cytoplasmic and nuclear nestin expression correlated with EMT-related proteins (E-cadherin, vimentin and Snail) (p<0.05) and lymph node metastasis (p=0.041) and a shorter survival time (p<0.05), but this was not the case with cytoplasmic or nuclear nestin expression. Conclusions: Nestin, particularly expression in both cytoplasm and nucleus, might be involved in regulating EMT and malignant progression in GAC, with potential as an unfavorable indicator in tumor diagnosis and a target for clinical therapy.


Nestin;epithelial-mesenchymal transition;gastric adenocarcinoma;immunohistochemistry;prognosis


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