Immunohistochemical expression of NEDD9, E-cadherin and γ-catenin and their prognostic significance in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC)
Extensive research is being conducted to identify novel diagnostic, predictive and prognostic biomarkers for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), as only a few markers have been routinely used so far with limited success. Our aim was to assess the expression of neural precursor cell expressed developmentally down-regulated protein 9 (NEDD9), E-cadherin, and γ-catenin in PDAC in relation to clinicopathological parameters and patient survival. We also investigated if there is a correlation of NEDD9 expression with E-cadherin or γ-catenin. The protein expression was determined by immunohistochemistry in 61 PDAC and 61 samples of normal pancreatic tissue. The log rank test and Kaplan-Meier survival curve were used for survival analysis. E-cadherin and γ-catenin expressions were reduced in PDAC, and completely retained in normal pancreatic tissue. Expression of NEDD9 was significantly increased in PDAC (strong expression in 78.7% of cases and moderate in 21.3%) and reduced in normal pancreatic tissue (strong positivity in 45.9% of cases, moderate in 31.1%, and weak in 23%). There was a positive correlation between reduced E-cadherin and γ-catenin expression in PDAC (p = 0.015). The loss or reduced expression of E-cadherin had a negative impact on patient survival (p = 0.020). A negative correlation between E-cadherin expression and tumor grade was also observed (p = 0.011). Decreased E-cadherin expression was more common in male patients with PDAC (81.3% vs. 60% for females, p = 0.005). γ-catenin and NEDD9 expressions were not statistically correlated with tumor stage and grade, gender, nor with patient survival. Our results support the role of NEDD9, E-cadherin and γ-catenin proteins in PDAC, but further research should clarify in detail their mechanism of action in pancreatic cancer.
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