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Cancer Sci. 2006 Jun;97(6):484-91.

Expression of the enhancer of zeste homolog 2 is correlated with poor prognosis in human gastric cancer.

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Division of Surgical Pathology, Department of Biomedical Informatics, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, Kobe 650-0017, Japan.


Overexpression of the enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) protein, a known repressor of gene transcription, has been reported to be associated with biological malignancy of prostate cancer and several other cancers. The purpose of this study was to examine the expression of EZH2 and analyze its relationship with the clinicopathological features of human gastric cancers. Expression levels of EZH2 mRNA and protein were examined in 13 gastric cancer cell lines and in 83 surgically removed human gastric cancer tissues. Immunohistochemical analysis of the 83 tissue samples and corresponding non-cancerous gastric mucosa showed that EZH2 was more highly expressed in the cancerous than in the non-cancerous tissues, and the expression levels of EZH2 were highly correlated with tumor size, depth of invasion, vessel invasion, lymph node metastasis and clinical stages. Univariate analysis of survival rate calculated by the Kaplan-Meier method revealed that gastric cancer patients with high-level EZH2 expression had poorer prognosis than those expressing no or low levels of EZH2 (P = 0.0271). These findings suggest that overexpression of EZH2 may contribute to the progression and oncogenesis of human gastric cancers, and thus immunohistochemical study of EZH2 expression may serve as a new biomarker for predicting the prognosis of gastric cancers.

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