Expression and clinical significance of REPS2 in human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma

Hang Zhang, Chao-Jun Duan, Heng Zhang, Yuan-Da Cheng, Chun-Fang Zhang
Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention: APJCP 2013, 14 (5): 2851-7

OBJECTIVE: REPS2 plays important roles in inhibiting cell proliferation, migration and in inducing apoptosis of cancer cells, now being identified as a useful biomarker for favorable prognosis in prostate and breast cancers. The purpose of this study was to assess REPS2 expression and to explore its role in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).

METHODS: Protein expression of REPS2 in ESCCs and adjacent non-cancerous tissues from 120 patients was analyzed by immunohistochemistry and correlated with clinicopathological parameters and patient outcome. Additionally, thirty paired ESCC tissues and four ESCC cell lines and one normal human esophageal epithelial cell line were evaluated for REPS2 mRNA and protein expression levels by quantitative RT-PCR and Western blotting.

RESULTS: REPS2 mRNA and protein expression levels were down-regulated in ESCC tissues and cell lines. Low protein levels were significantly associated with primary tumour, TNM stage, lymph node metastasis and recurrence (all, P < 0.05). Survival analysis demonstrated that decreased REPS2 expression was significantly associated with shorter overall survival and disease-free survival (both, P < 0.001), especially in early stage ESCC patients. When REPS2 expression and lymph node metastasis status were combined, patients with low REPS2 expression/lymph node (+) had both poorer overall and disease-free survival than others (both, P < 0.001). Cox multivariate regression analysis further revealed REPS2 to be an independent prognostic factor for ESCC patients.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings demonstrate that downregulation of REPS2 may contribute to malignant progression of ESCC and represent a novel prognostic marker and a potential therapeutic target for ESCC patients.

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