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Snail is an independent prognostic predictor for progression and patient survival of gastric cancer


Page 1296–1303

Snail, a zinc-finger transcription factor well known for its contributory role in epithelial–mesenchymal transition, also has a role in gastric cancer that was previously unclear. He and colleagues compared 103 human clinicopathologically identified gastric cancer tissues to 10 normal controls and found Snail to be predictive of progression and survival rate in gastric cancer patients. No Snail expression could be seen in control subjects' biopsies. Elevated functional SNAI1 gene expression was seen to accompany the progression of gastric tumor from non-cancerous to cancerous tissue. It was further found to be elevated during dedifferentiation. Moreover, gastric cancer patients' survival was significantly correlated with low levels of Snail expression which was determined to be an independent prognostic marker for survival in gastric cancer patients.doi: 10.1111/j.1349-7006.2012.02295.x

Synthetic disulfide-bridged peptides mimic the anti-angiogenic actions of chondromodulin-I


Page 1311–18

Chondromodulin-I (ChM-I) is a glycoprotein that has previously been identified for its potential role in cartilage-specific anti-angiogenesis. Of its two distinct domains, domain 2 is thought to be responsible for its inhibitory action. Miura and colleagues sought to identify which specific structural factors are responsible for its inhibitory action. They found two distinct features, a disulfide bridge between Cys83 and Cys99, and a C-terminal hydrophobic tail, that were both vital in maintaining the anti-angiogenic effects of ChM-I. To confirm this hypothesis in vivo, the researchers created a mimetic peptide incorporating these two features and injected it into a mouse model of human chondrosarcoma. The model successfully showed this mimetic peptide retained its anti-angiogenic properties and slowed the growth of tumor in vivo. This provides strong evidence for the specific role of the disulfide bridge and hydrophobic tail of chondromodulin-I in the inhibition of tumor growth.doi: 10.1111/j.1349-7006.2012.02276.x

Morphophenotypical characteristics of intralymphatic cancer and stromal cell susceptible to lymphogenic metastasis


Page 1342–47

Matsumura and colleagues analyzed lung adenocarcinoma cells with high and low metastatic potential to further elucidate how this cancer evades apoptosis and overcomes obstacles in the microenvironment of permeated lymphatic vessels when invading naïve tissues. Intralymphatic cells with high metastatic potential expressed elevated levels of CD44 and E-cadherin, molecules that are crucial for allowing tumor cell invasion, as well as depressed levels of geminin and cleaved caspase-3, which imply impaired genetic stability and apoptosis. In addition, results indicate that the highly metastatic cancers studied are associated with CD204-positive macrophages, which have been implicated in the promotion of tumor growth. Together, these findings suggest multiple levels of tumorogenic changes of cancer cells in the microenvironment of permeated lymphatic vessels.doi: 10.1111/j.1349-7006.2012.02275.x