1. Department of General Surgery, First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei 230022, People's Republic of China
2. Department of Thoracic Surgery, Anhui chest hospital, Hefei 230022, People's Republic of China.
*Xingwang Jiang and Shangxin Zhang equally contributed to this work.
NEDD4L (neural precursor cell expressed developmentally down-regulated 4-like) protein is a member of ubiquitin ligases Nedd4 family. Although studies have shown that Nedd4L may act as a tumor suppressor in various cancers, including gastric cancer (GC), its clinical significance and the diagnostic value in GC is not well defined. HIF-1α (hypoxia inducible factor family of transcription factors) is actively involved in the metabolism of many tumors, although the relationship between its expression levels and clinical significance in GC still need to be established. In this study, the level of HIF-1α and NEDD4L mRNA and protein in 25 freshly frozen GC- and matched normal-tissues were determined by western blot and quantitative PCR (qPCR). Additionally, immunohistochemistry assay was performed to measure the protein level of NEDD4L and HIF-1α in 124 GC and 25 normal control tissues. We observed that the NEDD4L mRNA and protein levels decreased significantly (P < 0.001) in GC tissues, while that of HIF-1α increased (P < 0.001), and they both were associated with a poor prognosis, as was the case in patients with lower NEDD4L and higher HIF-1α expression (P < 0.001). On correlation analysis, a significantly negative relationship (r = 0.288, P < 0.01) was revealed between NEDD4L and HIF-1α expressions. Multivariate analysis revealed that co-expression of NEDD4L (P < 0.05) and HIF-1α (P < 0.001) were independent predictors of GC prognosis. Thus, the correlation of NEDD4L and HIF-1α levels may act as a prognostic marker of GC.
Keywords: gastric cancer, NEDD4L, HIF-1α, prognosis, co-expression