, Volume 49, Issue 4, pp 702-714

Expression of N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase V in the subserosal layer correlates with postsurgical survival of pathological tumor stage 2 carcinoma of the gallbladder

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N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferase V (GnT-V), an enzyme that catalyzes the β1-6 branching of N-acetylglucosamine on asparagine-linked oligosaccharides of cellular proteins, enhances the malignant behaviors of carcinoma cells in experimental models. The aim of this study was to determine clinical significance of GnT-V expression in human pT2 gallbladder carcinoma with simple in vitro experiments.


Ninety patients with pT2 gallbladder carcinoma were included for this study. The in vitro and in vivo biological effects of GnT-V were investigated using gallbladder carcinoma cells with variable GnT-V expression levels induced by a small interfering RNA.


Of the 90 cases, 57 showed positive staining and the remaining 33 demonstrated negative staining, the subcellular localization in the 57 cases was classified into the granular-type in 31 cases and the diffuse-type in 26 cases. In 76 cases with curative resection, postsurgical survival was significantly poorer in those showing positive staining than in those showing negative staining (P = 0.028). In all of the 76 cases, postsurgical recurrence was significantly more frequent in those showing diffuse-type localization than in those showing negative staining. Experimental analyses demonstrated that the down-regulation of GnT-V expression in gallbladder carcinoma cells induced suppression of cell growth in vitro. The expression levels of GnT-V in the cells were highly correlated with the rapid in vivo growth coupled with the enhanced angiogenesis, and the tendency to form liver metastasis.


GnT-V expression in the subserosal layer of pT2 gallbladder carcinoma is correlated with the aggressiveness of the disease.