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Oncology. 2008;75(1-2):49-59. doi: 10.1159/000151741. Epub 2008 Sep 12.

Seprase, dipeptidyl peptidase IV and urokinase-type plasminogen activator expression in dysplasia and invasive squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus. A study of 229 cases from Anyang Tumor Hospital, Henan Province, China.

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Department of Surgery, Rikshospitalet-Radiumhospitalet Medical Centre, Medical Faculty, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.



Seprase, dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPPIV) and urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) play a crucial role in the degradation of the extracellular matrix and in the progression of various human tumors. However, their pathophysiologic significance in esophageal carcinoma has not yet been fully elucidated.


The expression of seprase, DPPIV and uPA in esophageal dysplasia, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and normal epithelium was examined by immunohistochemistry.


Seprase, DPPIV and uPA immunoreactivity was found in dysplastic and cancer cells as well as in stromal cells adjacent to dysplasia and cancer sites, but not in normal epithelium. We found a significant association between uPA expression and sex, tumor size and histological classification in carcinomas. High expression of DPPIV in cancer cells correlated with longer survival of the patients. No significant associations between seprase and clinicopathological features either in dysplasia or in carcinomas were found. Finally, we demonstrated higher levels of seprase, DPPIV and uPA in SCC cell lines than in normal esophageal epithelial cell lines.


Our results showed that seprase, DPPIV and uPA are expressed in both premalignant and malignant forms of SCC, but are lacking in normal esophageal epithelia, suggesting that they are involved in SCC neoplastic progression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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