Objective: Transmembrane protein 166 (TMEM166) expression in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma(ESCC) and remote normal esophageal tissues was examined to assess any role in tumour biology.
Methods:TMEM166 mRNA expression in 36 cases with ESCC (36 tumour samples, 36 remote normal esophageal tissuesamples) was detected by RT-PCR. TMEM166 protein expression was analysed in paraffin-embedded tissuesamples from the same cases by immunohistochemistry.
Results: Semi-quantitative analysis showed TMEM166mRNA expression in ESCCs to be significantly lower than in remote normal esophageal tissues (0.759±0.713 vs.2.622±1.690, P=0.014). TMEM166 protein expression was also significantly reduced (69.4% vs. 94.4%, P<0.01).
Conclusion: TMEM166 mRNA and protein expression demonstrated significant reduction in ESCCs comparedwith remote esophageal tissues, albeit with no correlation with tumour size, differentiation, stage, and lymphnode metastasis, suggesting a role in regulating autophagic and apoptotic processes in the ESCC.