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Amphiregulin (AR) is derived from a membrane-anchored form (proAR) by ectodomain shedding, and is a ligand that activates epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). We have recently shown that proAR translocates from the plasma membrane to the nucleus after truncation of 11 amino acids at the C-terminus, which is independent of the conventional EGFR signaling pathway. Although proAR immunoreactivity has reportedly been detected in the nucleus of cancer cells, its biological meaning has never been investigated. This study was performed to investigate the roles of proAR nuclear translocation in human gastric cancer. We constructed proAR truncated 11 amino acids at the C-terminus (proARΔC11) that spontaneously translocates to the nucleus, and established proARΔC11-expression regulatable gastric cancer cells (MKN45, MKN28) using the tet-off system. Using these cells, we found that proAR nuclear translocation significantly induced chemoresistance in vitro and in vivo. Analyzing the relationship between immunoreactive localization of proAR and the clinical outcome for 46 advanced gastric cancer cases treated with chemotherapy, median survival time was 311 days in 16 patients with AR-positive staining in the nucleus and 387 days in 30 patients with AR-negative staining (< 0.05). The present study demonstrates that proAR nuclear translocation increases resistance to anti-cancer drugs, which might be associated with poor prognosis in human gastric cancer. (Cancer Sci 2012; 103: 708–715)