Journal Article

Expression of ets-related transcriptional factor E1AF is associated with tumor progression and over-expression of matrilysin in human gastric cancer

Hiroyuki Yamamoto, Shina Horiuchi, Yasushi Adachi, Hiroaki Taniguchi, Katsuhiko Nosho, Yongfen Min and Kohzoh Imai

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 25, issue 3, pages 325-332
Published in print March 2004 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online March 2004 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Expression of ets-related transcriptional factor E1AF is associated with tumor progression and over-expression of matrilysin in human gastric cancer

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Expression of E1AF/PEA3 (ETV4), an ets family transcriptional factor, has been implicated in tumor progression through induction of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) expression. The aim of this study was to examine E1AF mRNA expression and to determine whether it is correlated with progression of, and/or MMP expression in, human gastric cancer. Using the semi-quantitative reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (RT–PCR), we analyzed 100 gastric cancer tissues for E1AF mRNA expression. Expression of ER81 (ETV1) and ERM (ETV5), the other two members of the PEA3 subfamily, and Ets-1 and Ets-2 was also analyzed. The results were correlated with clinicopathological characteristics and MMP expression. Immunohistochemical analysis and an in vitro invasion assay were also performed. E1AF mRNA expression was detected in 64% of the 100 gastric cancer tissues, but was undetectable or only faintly detected in adjacent non-tumor tissues. E1AF expression was significantly correlated with depth of invasion, lymphatic and venous invasion, lymph node and distant metastasis, advance in pathological tumor-node-metastasis stage and recurrence. Patients with E1AF-positive tumors had significantly shorter overall and disease-free survival periods than did those with E1AF-negative tumors (P < 0.0001 and P < 0.0001, respectively). E1AF expression retained its significant predictive value for overall and disease-free survival in multivariate analysis that included conventional clinicopathological factors (P = 0.0082 and P = 0.0096, respectively). Among the MMPs analyzed, expression of matrilysin (MMP-7) was significantly correlated with E1AF expression. Immunohistochemical expression of E1AF was predominantly observed at the invasive front, where the expression of matrilysin was often co-localized. Antisense E1AF-transfected MKN45 gastric cancer cells expressed reduced levels of matrilysin and were less invasive in vitro than mock-transfected MKN45 cells. The results of this study suggest that E1AF, the expression of which is closely correlated with the expression of matrilysin, plays a key role in the progression of gastric cancer.

Keywords: GAPDH, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase; MMP, matrix metalloproteinase; pTNM, pathological tumor-node-metastasis; RT–PCR, reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction; TIMP-1, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1

Journal Article.  5261 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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