Mesenchyme forkhead 1 (FoxC2) is an epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT)-inducing factor. Previous studies have demonstrated that FoxC2 binds directly to the promoter region of p120-catenin (p120ctn). The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical significance of FoxC2 expression and the inter-relationship between FoxC2 and p120ctn, in gastric cancer.
Methods and results
Immunohistochemistry was used to examine the expression of FoxC2 and p120ctn proteins in 325 gastric cancer samples. Staining for FoxC2 in cancer tissues was markedly stronger than in normal tissues. High FoxC2 expression was associated significantly with differentiation, invasion depth, lymph node metastasis and tumour stage. Patients with high FoxC2 expression or low p120ctn expression had a poor prognosis. In the high p120ctn expression group, the prognosis for patients with low FoxC2 expression was better than for the high FoxC2 group. Moreover, stepwise Cox regression showed that p120ctn was an independent prognostic factor, but FoxC2 in combination with p120ctn was not correlated significantly with survival.
We found that FoxC2 and p120ctn play important roles in the progression and prognosis of gastric cancer. Moreover, FoxC2 and p120ctn should be evaluated further as novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets for gastric cancer treatment.