General Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery

, Volume 66, Issue 6, pp 351–357 | Cite as

Expression of kallikrein-related peptidase 13 is associated with poor prognosis in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma

  • Kyoko Nohara
  • Kazuhiko Yamada
  • Leo Yamada
  • Teruki Hagiwara
  • Toru Igari
  • Chizu Yokoi
  • Daisuke Soma
  • Satoshi Yamashita
  • Taeko Dohi
  • Yuki I. Kawamura
Original Article



Our previous differential transcriptome analysis between a paired specimen of normal and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) tissues found aberrant expression of kallikrein-related peptidase 13 (KLK13) in tumors. In this study, we evaluated the expression of KLK13 in many ESCC cases in relation with clinical features, and the prognosis.


Eighty-eight ESCC cases were subjected to immunohistological staining for KLK13 and classified into KLK13-negative and KLK13-positive groups. Difference of clinical features and the prognosis between the groups was analyzed.


In normal esophageal mucosa, KLK13 expression was evident but limited in the stratum granulosum in all cases. By contrast, only 27 of 88 ESCC samples showed KLK13 expression, whereas the remaining 61 tumors showed no KLK13 expression. The KLK13-positive group was significantly associated with pT classification (deeper tumor invasions; P = 0.0282), pN classification (lymph node metastasis; P = 0.0163), and advanced TNM stage (P = 0.0198). In KLK13-positive samples, KLK13-expressing cells often expressed Ki67, a proliferation marker, unlike normal mucosa, in which Ki67-expressing cells were limited to the basal layer and did not express KLK13. Compared with patients with KLK13-negative group, KLK13-positive group showed poorer postoperative prognosis.


Relatively high levels of KLK13 expression in ESCC were associated with cell proliferation and correlated with tumor progression, advanced cancer stage, and poor prognosis.


Kallikrein-related peptidase 13 Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma Prognosis 



We thank Drs. Miwa Tamura-Nakano and Chinatsu Oyama in NCGM EM Support Unit for their technical support for histological analysis. We also thank Ms. Yasuko Nozaki for her technical assistance. This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grants Numbers JP15K10124, JP15H04503, JP16K09299, and by grants from the National Center for Global Health and Medicine (26–110, 26–117, 27-1406, 29-1008, 29-1013, 29-1019, and 29-1029).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors have no financial or other relations that could lead to a conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Association for Thoracic Surgery 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kyoko Nohara
    • 1
  • Kazuhiko Yamada
    • 1
  • Leo Yamada
    • 1
    • 5
  • Teruki Hagiwara
    • 2
  • Toru Igari
    • 3
  • Chizu Yokoi
    • 4
  • Daisuke Soma
    • 1
  • Satoshi Yamashita
    • 1
  • Taeko Dohi
    • 2
  • Yuki I. Kawamura
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryNational Center for Global Health and MedicineTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Gastroenterology, The Research Center for Hepatitis and Immunology, Research InstituteNational Center for Global Health and MedicineChibaJapan
  3. 3.Pathology Division of Clinical LaboratoryNational Center for Global Health and MedicineTokyoJapan
  4. 4.Department of Gastroenterology and HepatologyNational Center for Global Health and MedicineTokyoJapan
  5. 5.Department of Gastrointestinal Tract SurgeryFukushima Medical University School of MedicineFukushimaJapan

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