Association of PYGO2 and EGFR in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma
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Wnt signaling is an important evolutionary conserved pathway that is not only involved in determination of cellular development, self-renewal, and fate, but also has significant roles in tumor development and progression. Deregulation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway and aberrant expression of its components is commonly observed in solid tumors. Such aberrant regulation of Wnt signaling is commonly related to either malfunction of its components or crosstalk with other cellular processes such as the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling cascade. Therefore, identification of the roles of major involved components may be useful to identify new therapeutic targets for cancer treatment. In this study, we assessed EGFR and PYGO2 mRNA expression in tumors and margin normal tissues from 55 esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) patients using real-time qRT-PCR, and evaluated clinicopathology relative to the two genes’ expression levels. Significant PYGO2 and EGFR overexpression was observed in 30.9 % (P = 0.017) and 38.2 % (P = 0.006) of tumors, respectively. PYGO2 and EGFR expression were significantly associated not only with each other (P < 0.001), but also with tumor staging and depth (P < 0.001). Furthermore, PYGO2 expression was significantly correlated with the tumor grade (P = 0.043) and size (P = 0.023). We identify PYGO2 as a new molecular marker of invasive tumors, introducing its probable oncogenic role in ESCC progression and aggressiveness. In line with other reports, we also illustrate the oncogenic function of EGFR in the development of ESCC through advance stages. We also observed a significant correlation between PYGO2 and EGFR in ESCC tumors, which reveals a mutual convergent influence of these factors in tumor progression and development. Considering aberrant expression, mutual positive feedback, and the significant clinical relevance of these genes in ESCC, we introduce them as appropriate therapeutic targets in adjuvant therapy of ESCC.
KeywordsEsophageal squamous cell carcinoma PYGO2 EGFR Expressional analysis Real-time PCR
The authors gratefully acknowledge Mr. Ali Garayali and the other colleagues at the Division of Human Genetics for their technical assistance. Additionally, we appreciate all of our colleagues at the departments of Surgery and Pathology at Omid Hospital for their help in gathering and preparing tissue specimens.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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