, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 515-526,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 05 Jan 2011

Expression of Snail2 in long bone osteosarcomas correlates with tumour malignancy


Snail2 is a marker of malignancy in epithelial tumours; however, in sarcomas, it is not known if this protein is present. Here we examine the expression of Snail2 in one type of sarcoma, osteosarcoma, and explore its relationship to tumour grade, subtype and anatomical location in cases of long bone and cranial bone osteosarcoma. Long bone osteosarcomas typically have a much greater metastatic capability and a poorer prognosis. We find that Snail2 is expressed in the three main subtypes of long bone osteosarcoma—osteoblastic, chondroblastic and fibroblastic. Regression analysis showed that Snail 2 expression was statistically correlated with tumour grade (p = 0.014) in all of these subtypes. Snail2 was only expressed in high-grade cranial bone osteosarcomas, suggesting a link between Snail2 expression and metastasis. This is the first time Snail2 has been associated with any sarcoma, and this study shows that Snail2 may be a useful prognostic marker for this disease.