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Folia Histochem Cytobiol. 2010 Dec;48(4):671-7. doi: 10.2478/v10042-010-0046-7.

Differential expression of Snail1 transcription factor and Snail1-related genes in alveolar and embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma subtypes.

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  • 1Department of Transplantation, Polish-American Institute of Pediatrics, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Cracow, Poland.


Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) represents the most common sarcoma of soft tissue among children. Two main RMS subtypes are alveolar (ARMS) and embryonal (ERMS). The major goal of this study was to find differentially expressed genes between RMS subtypes that could explain higher metastatic potential in ARMS and would be useful for the differential diagnosis. Using RQ-PCR analysis we compared expression of Snail1 and Snail-related genes among 7 ARMS and 8 ERMS patients' samples obtained from the primary tumors and among 2 alveolar and 2 embryonal cell lines. Our results show that Snail1 is highly expressed both in ARMS patients' samples and the alveolar cell lines. We also found that the expression of E-Cadherin was downregulated and the expression of Matrix Metalloproteinases 2 and 9 (MMP-2 and MMP-9) was upregulated in ARMS. We assume that, as in many tumors, also in RMS Snail1 acts as a regulator for pathways known for their role in cells' metastasis and that Snail1 activity results in increased MMPs and decreased E-Cadherin expression. Our findings may explain higher ARMS aggressiveness. Moreover, we suggest that further studies should be performed to verify if Snail1 can be considered as a potential target for ARMS therapy.

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