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Cancer Cell Int. 2014 Jun 20;14:57. doi: 10.1186/1475-2867-14-57. eCollection 2014.

Contribution of nestin positive esophageal squamous cancer cells on malignant proliferation, apoptosis, and poor prognosis.

Zhong B#1, Wang T#2,3, Lun X4,5,6, Zhang J7, Zheng S8, Yang W4,5,6, Li W2,3, Xiang AP2,3, Chen Z#4,5,6.

Author information

1
Department of Thoracic Surgery, the Fifth Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai, Guangdong 519000, China.
2
Center for Stem Cell Biology and Tissue Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University, Key Laboratory for Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering, Ministry of Education, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.
3
Department of Biochemistry, Zhongshan Medical School, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.
4
Department of Thoracic Surgery, the First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510080, China.
5
Lung Cancer Research Center of Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510080, China.
6
Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery of East Division, the First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510080, China.
7
Guangzhou Research Institute of Traumatic Surgery, the Fourth Affiliated Hospital, Ji'nan University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510220, China.
8
Department of Anesthesiology and Operating Room of East Division, the First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.
#
Contributed equally

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The stem cell-associated intermediate filament nestin has recently been linked with neoplastic transformation, but the specific mechanism by which nestin positive tumor cells leads to malignant invasion and metastasis behaviors of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) remains unclear.

METHODS:

To obtain insight into the biological role of nestin in ESCC, we explored the association of the nestin phenotype with malignant proliferation and apoptosis in esophageal squamous cancer cells. Nestin expression was determined in ESCC specimens and cell lines, and correlated with clinicopathological properties, including clinical prognosis and proliferative markers. The association of the nestin phenotype with apoptotic indicators was also analyzed.

RESULTS:

Nestin was expressed in ESCC specimens and cell lines. ESCC patients with nestin-positive tumors had significantly shorter median survival and progression-free survival times than those with nestin-negative tumors. Positive staining for the proliferation markers Ki67 and PCNA (proliferating cell nuclear antigen) was detected in 56.9% and 60.2% of ESCC specimens, respectively, and was strongly correlated with the nestin phenotype. Notably, expression of cyclin dependent kinase-5 (CDK5) and P35 was detected in 53.8% and 48.4% of ESCC specimens, respectively, and was strongly associated with the nestin phenotype.

CONCLUSION:

Our data demonstrated nestin expression in ESCC specimens and cell lines, and revealed a strong association of the nestin phenotype with poor prognosis in ESCC patients. Furthermore, we showed that nestin positive ESCC cells played an important role in the malignant proliferation and apoptosis.

KEYWORDS:

Apoptosis; Cancer; Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; Esophagus; Intermediate filament; Nestin; Proliferation

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