Background: Nestin is associated with neoplastic transformation. However, the mechanisms by which nestincontributes regarding invasion and malignancy of gastric adenocarcinoma (GAC) remain unknown. Recentstudies have shown that the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is important in invasion and migrationof cancer cells. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the expression of nestin and its correlation withEMT-related proteins in GAC. Materials and
Methods: The expression of nestin and EMT-related proteins wasexamined in GAC specimens and cell lines by immunohistochemistry and Western blotting. Clinicopathologicalfeatures and survival outcomes were retrospectively analyzed.
Results: Positive nestin immunostaining was mostobviously detected in the cytoplasm, nucleus or both cytoplasm and nucleus of tumor cells in 19.2% (24/125) ofGAC tissues, which was significantly higher than that in normal gastric mucosa tissues (1.7%, 1/60) (p=0.001).Nestin expression was closely related to several clinicopathological factors and EMT-related proteins (E-cadherin,vimentin and Snail) and displayed a poor prognosis. Interestingly, simultaneous cytoplasmic and nuclear nestinexpression correlated with EMT-related proteins (E-cadherin, vimentin and Snail) (p<0.05) and lymph nodemetastasis (p=0.041) and a shorter survival time (p<0.05), but this was not the case with cytoplasmic or nuclearnestin expression.
Conclusions: Nestin, particularly expression in both cytoplasm and nucleus, might be involvedin regulating EMT and malignant progression in GAC, with potential as an unfavorable indicator in tumordiagnosis and a target for clinical therapy.