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World J Gastroenterol. 2013 Oct 21;19(39):6637-44. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v19.i39.6637.

Expression and significance of Musashi-1 in gastric cancer and precancerous lesions.

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Rong-Guang Kuang, Jian-Wen Wang, Department of Health Care, Qianfoshan Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Jinan 250014, Shandong Province, China.



To investigate expression of stem cell marker Musashi-1 (Msi-1) in relationship to tumorigenesis and progression of intestinal-type gastric cancer (GC).


Endoscopic biopsy specimens and surgical specimens were obtained, including 54 cases of intestinal-type GC, 41 high-grade intraepithelial neoplasia, 57 low-grade intraepithelial neoplasia, 31 intestinal metaplasia, and 36 normal gastric mucosa. Specimens were fixed in 10% paraformaldehyde, conventionally dehydrated, embedded in paraffin, and sliced in 4-μm-thick serial sections. Two-step immunohistochemical staining was used to detect Msi-1 and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) expression. Correlation analysis was conducted between Msi-1 and PCNA expression. The relationship between Msi-1 expression and clinicopathological parameters of GC was analyzed statistically.


There were significant differences in Msi-1 and PCNA expression in different pathological tissues (χ² = 15.37, P < 0.01; χ² = 115.36, P < 0.01). Msi-1 and PCNA-positive cells were restricted to the isthmus of normal gastric glands. Expression levels of Msi-1 and PCNA in intestinal metaplasia were significantly higher than in normal mucosa (U = 392.0, P < 0.05; U = 40.50, P < 0.01), whereas there was no significant difference compared to low or high-grade intraepithelial neoplasia. Msi-1 and PCNA expression in intestinal-type GC was higher than in high-grade intraepithelial neoplasia (U = 798.0, P < 0.05; U = 688.0, P < 0.01). There was a significantly positive correlation between Msi-1 and PCNA expression (r(s) = 0.20, P < 0.01). Msi-1 expression in GC tissues was correlated with their lymph node metastasis and tumor node metastasis stage (χ² = 12.62, P < 0.01; χ² = 11.24, P < 0.05), but not with depth of invasion and the presence of distant metastasis.


Msi-1-positive cells may play a key role in the early events of gastric carcinogenesis and may be involved in invasion and metastasis of GC.


Gastric cancer; Immunohistochemistry.; Musashi-1; Precancerous lesions; Stem cells

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