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Sarcoma. 2011;2011:971050. doi: 10.1155/2011/971050. Epub 2011 May 8.

Connexin 43 is a potential prognostic biomarker for ewing sarcoma/primitive neuroectodermal tumor.

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Department of Anatomic Pathology, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL 33612, USA.


Connexins (Cxs) are building unit proteins of gap junctions (GJs) that are prognostic markers in carcinomas. To investigate the role of Cx in Ewing sarcoma (EWS)/primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET), we examined the expression of Cx43 and Cx26 in 36 EWS/PNETs and found (1) cytoplasmic Cx43 reactivity in 28/36 (78%) cases. (2) Cx43 score was significantly correlated with overall survival (P = .025). The average scores for patients alive and dead at 3 years are 46.08 and 96.98 (P = .004) at 5 years are 46.06 and 96.42 (P = .002). (3) Metastasis had a significant effect on the overall survival (P = .003). (4) Cytoplasmic Cx26 reactivity was detected in 2 of 36 (6%) patients who died with metastasis. Our results suggest a possible oncogenic and prognostic role for Cx43 and Cx26 in EWS/PNET. The lack of membranous immunoreactivity suggests that the effect of Cx in EWS/PNET is via a GJ function-independent mechanism.

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