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J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2010 Nov 8;29:143. doi: 10.1186/1756-9966-29-143.

Expression and clinicopathological significance of Mel-18 and Bmi-1 mRNA in gastric carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Medical Oncology, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center; China.



The Polycomb group (PcG) genes are a class of regulators responsible for maintaining homeotic gene expression throughout cell division. PcG expression is deregulated in some types of human cancer. Both Bmi-1 and Mel-18 are of the key PcG proteins. We investigate the expression and clinicopathological roles of Mel-18 and Bmi-1 mRNA in gastric cancer.


The expression of Mel-18 and Bmi-1 in a series of 71 gastric cancer tissues and paired normal mucosal tissues distant from the tumorous lesion was assayed by quantitative real time RT-PCR. The correlation between Mel-18 and Bmi-1 mRNA expression, and between Mel-18 or Bmi-1 mRNA level and clinicopathological characteristics were analyzed.


Expression of Mel-18 and Bmi-1 genes was variably detected, but overexpression of Bmi-1 mRNA and decreased expression of Mel-18 mRNA were the most frequent alteration. In addition, the expression of Bmi-1 and Mel-18 mRNA inversely correlates in gastric tumors. Moreover, a significant positive correlation between Bmi-1 overexpression and tumor size, depth of invasion, or lymph node metastasis, and a significant negative correlation between Mel-18 low-expression with lymph node metastasis or the clinical stage were observed.


Our data suggest that Mel-18 and Bmi-1 may play crucial but opposite roles in gastric cancer. Decreased Mel-18 and increased Bmi-1 mRNA expression was associated with the carcinogenesis and progression of gastric cancer. It is possible to list Bmi-1 and Mel-18 as biomarkers for predicting the prognosis of gastric cancer.

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