Overexpression of PLCE1 in Kazakh esophageal squamous cell carcinoma: implications in cancer metastasis and aggressiveness

Authors

  • Yun-Zhao Chen,

    1. Department of Oncology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan
    2. Department of Pathology and Key Laboratory for Xinjiang Endemic and Ethnic Diseases, Shihezi University School of Medicine, Shihezi
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  • Xiao-Bin Cui,

    1. Department of Oncology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan
    2. Department of Pathology and Key Laboratory for Xinjiang Endemic and Ethnic Diseases, Shihezi University School of Medicine, Shihezi
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  • Jian-Ming Hu,

    1. Department of Pathology and Key Laboratory for Xinjiang Endemic and Ethnic Diseases, Shihezi University School of Medicine, Shihezi
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  • Wen Jie Zhang,

    1. Department of Oncology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan
    2. Department of Pathology and Key Laboratory for Xinjiang Endemic and Ethnic Diseases, Shihezi University School of Medicine, Shihezi
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  • Shu-Gang Li,

    1. Department of Pathology and Key Laboratory for Xinjiang Endemic and Ethnic Diseases, Shihezi University School of Medicine, Shihezi
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  • Lan Yang,

    1. Department of Pathology and Key Laboratory for Xinjiang Endemic and Ethnic Diseases, Shihezi University School of Medicine, Shihezi
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  • Xi-Hua Shen,

    1. Department of Pathology and Key Laboratory for Xinjiang Endemic and Ethnic Diseases, Shihezi University School of Medicine, Shihezi
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  • Chun-Xia Liu,

    1. Department of Pathology and Key Laboratory for Xinjiang Endemic and Ethnic Diseases, Shihezi University School of Medicine, Shihezi
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  • Qing-Fang Pan,

    1. Department of Pathology and Key Laboratory for Xinjiang Endemic and Ethnic Diseases, Shihezi University School of Medicine, Shihezi
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  • Shi-Ying Yu,

    1. Department of Oncology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan
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  • Xiang-Lin Yuan,

    1. Department of Oncology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan
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  • Lei Yang,

    1. School of Medicine and Medical Management, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou, China
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  • Wen-Yi Gu,

    1. Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane
    2. Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
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  • Jie-Zhong Chen,

    1. Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane
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  • Li-Dong Wang,

    1. Henan Key Laboratory for Esophageal Cancer, Zhengzhou University School of Medicine, Zhengzhou, China
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  • Feng Li

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Oncology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan
    2. Department of Pathology and Key Laboratory for Xinjiang Endemic and Ethnic Diseases, Shihezi University School of Medicine, Shihezi
    • Feng Li, Department of Pathology and the Key Laboratory for Xinjiang Endemic and Ethnic Diseases, Shihezi University School of Medicine, North 4th Road, Shihezi 832002, Xinjiang, China. e-mail: lifeng7855@yahoo.com.cn

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Abstract

Three recent large-scale genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in Chinese Han populations have identified an esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) susceptibility locus within phospholipase C epsilon 1 (PLCE1) gene, which encodes a phospholipase involved in intracellular signaling. The expressed PLCE1 in ESCC, however, are inconsistent. This study examined PLCE1 expression by immunohistochemistry (IHC) from 110 ethnic Kazakh ESCC patients and 50 from adjacent normal esophageal tissues (NETs). The expressed PLCE1 was localized in cytoplasm, especially in the peripheral layers of cancer cell nests, which was significantly higher in tumors than in NETs (p < 0.001). Increased expression of PLCE1 was correlated with advanced tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) stages (p = 0.015) and lymph node metastasis (p = 0.003) in patients with ESCC. Of the 110 patients, we examined 50 paired ESCC tissues and corresponding NETs by quantitative RT-PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and the mean mRNA level of PLCE1 in ESCC was 1.85-fold higher compared with those in corresponding NETs (p = 0.0012). Meanwhile, 4 of 5 ESCC cell lines also showed elevated expression of PLCE1 mRNA. Furthermore, elevated expression of PLCE1 mRNA in Kazakh ESCC was associated with its immunoreactivity (ρ = 0.297, p = 0.040), lymph node metastasis (p < 0.001), and advanced TNM stages of ESCC (p = 0.013). To our knowledge, this study demonstrates for the first time that PLCE1 overexpression correlates with lymph node metastasis and advanced TNM stages of Kazakh ESCC, implicating a role of PLCE1 in cancer metastasis and aggressiveness in ethnic Kazakh patients with ESCC. Furthermore, the current findings may warrant investigations into whether inhibiting PLCE1 could be a strategy for targeted anticancer therapy particularly for Kazakh ESCC.

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