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Gut. 2005 Jul;54(7):920-7.

Expression of carbonic anhydrase 9 at the invasion front of gastric cancers.

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  • 1Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Infectious Diseases, Otto-von-Guericke-University, Leipziger Str 44, D-39120 Magdeburg, Germany.



Carbonic anhydrase IX (MN/Ca9) catalyses the reversible metabolism of carbon dioxide to carbonic acid and has also been linked to malignant transformation and hypoxia in various cancers.


To assess the expression and biological role of Ca9 in gastric cancer.


Using gastric cancer cell lines and tissues, we studied expression of Ca9 by western blot analysis, immunohistochemistry, and polymerase chain reaction. Biological changes after Ca9 transfection and after treatment with 5'-azadeoxycytidine were also analysed in cancer cell lines.


Non-cancerous tissues strongly expressed Ca9 with membranous localisation. In contrast, Ca9 expression was frequently lost in gastric cancers (p<0.001). However, gastric cancers that retained Ca9 expression in cancer cells exhibited a shorter postoperative survival (p = 0.028). In vitro analysis revealed that loss of Ca9 expression in gastric cancer cell lines was restored after treatment with 5'-azadeoxycytidine and was associated with increased invasion (p<0.01). Moreover, AGS cells transfected with Ca9 exhibited significantly increased cell proliferation (p<0.05).


A subgroup of gastric cancers retain Ca9 expression in cancer cells at the invasion front. While loss of Ca9 expression is regulated in part by methylation, re-expression of Ca9 is associated with increased invasion, supporting the hypothesis that increased Ca9 expression may contribute to invasion and thus advanced disease and tumour progression in a subset of gastric cancers.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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