Author(s): Jung H, Jun KH, Jung JH, Chin HM, Park WB
BACKGROUND: The claudins (CLDNs) are a family of functional tight junction proteins, and are involved with the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). The claudin proteins have a significant influence on the biological behavior of tumor progression in several types of cancers. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the expression pattern of claudin-1, claudin-2, claudin-3, and claudin-4 in gastric cancer tissue. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Tissue was obtained from surgically resected specimens of 72 patients who were diagnosed with gastric adenocarcinoma at a single institution. The expressions of claudin-1, claudin-2, claudin-3, and claudin-4 were determined by immunohistochemical staining with the ABC method. RESULTS: Claudin-2 demonstrated the highest expression rate (73.6%) and claudin-4 demonstrated the lowest expression rate (44.4%). The expression of claudin-1 was significantly lower in cases of intestinal type adenocarcinoma based on the Lauren classification. The expressions of claudin-3 and claudin-4 were significantly lower in cases with positive lymphatic invasion. The expression of claudin-3 was significantly lower in cases with an advanced T-stage (T3 and T4). The expression of claudin-3 showed significantly positive correlations with the expression of the other claudin proteins. In survival analysis, the expression of claudin-4 was related to good overall survival rate with significance (P = 0.046). CONCLUSION: We suggest that claudin-3 and claudin-4 represent useful molecular markers for gastric cancer. Claudin-3 and claudin-4 would be the most important proteins related to the lymphatic invasion process, and claudin-4 would be useful with prognostic marker based on our results. Further investigations with a greater number of subjects are required to identify the action mechanism of claudin in gastric cancer. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.