To evaluate loss of imprinting (LOI) and expression of the IGF2 gene in matched esophageal normal and adenocarcinoma tissues, we studied a prospective cohort of 77 patients who underwent esophageal resection between 1998 and 2003. IGF2 imprinting status was determined by reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (PCR) following ApaI digestion, and quantitative PCR was used to evaluate IGF2 expression, which was correlated with clinicopathologic findings, disease-free and overall survival. In total, 32% (14/44) of informative tissues showed loss of IGF2 imprinting, with a strong correlation between the tumor and normal esophageal epithelia (Kappa = 0.89, P < 0.01). Normal epithelia with LOI had increased expression of IGF2 [median: 2.91, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.93–5.06] compared with imprinted normal epithelia (median: 1.13, 95% CI: 0.85–1.39) (P = 0.03). In contrast, tumors with LOI had significantly reduced IGF2 expression (median: 1.87, 95% CI: 0.53–5.21) compared with normally imprinted tumors (median: 6.79, 95% CI: 3.39–15.89) (P = 0.016). Patients below the age of 65 years with normally imprinted tumors had significantly reduced 5 year disease-free survival (DFS) (24%) compared with patients whose tumors had LOI for IGF2 (55%) (P = 0.03). Cox regression analysis showed that IGF2 overexpression was associated with significantly reduced disease-free survival (P = 0.04). We conclude that in a subgroup of younger patients, loss of IGF2 imprinting was associated with improved outcome following esophageal resection. Expression of IGF2 in esophageal adenocarcinoma and normal esophageal epithelia depended on imprinting status and tissue type, suggesting novel molecular regulatory mechanisms in esophageal tumorigenesis.
Journal Article. 4573 words. Illustrated.
Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics
Full text: subscription required