Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) expression and the growth factor such as platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and their receptors have been considered relevant in the process of angiogenesis and dissemination in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Small glutamine-rich tetratricopeptide repeat-containing protein alpha (SGTA) downstream of RTK signaling was a critical regulator of PDGF receptors (PDGFR) stability. The aim of the present study was to examine the expression of SGTA and to elucidate its clinicopathologic significance in ESCC. Immunohistochemistry and western blot analysis were performed for SGTA in ESCC samples. SGTA was up-regulated in ESCC as compared with the adjacent normal tissue. High expression of SGTA was associated with tumor grade (P < 0.01), and SGTA was positively correlated with proliferation marker Ki-67 (P < 0.05). Univariate analysis showed that SGTA expression did has a remarkable prediction for poor prognosis (P = 0.016). Knockdown or overexpression of SGTA affected ESCC cells proliferation and cell cycle. Additionally, after ESCC cells silenced for SGTA were treated with cisplatin (an anti-ESCC agent), the cell growth was down-regulated. These findings suggested that SGTA was involved in the pathogenesis of ESCC and might indicate a poor prognosis for ESCC patients. J. Cell. Biochem. 115: 141–150, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.