Sox9 expression in carcinogenesis and its clinical significance in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomaSox9 expression in carcinogenesis and its clinical significance in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma 肝内胆管癌の発癌過程におけるSox9の発現とその臨床的意義
Background: Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas develop through a multi-step carcinogenesis. Precancerous lesions are defined as biliary intraepithelial neoplasia. Sex determining region Y-box9 (Sox9) is required for the normal differentiation of the biliary tract.
Aims: To evaluate the Sox9 expression in carcinogenesis and its correlation with clinicopathological features in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. Methods: Sox9 expression in normal epithelium, biliary intraepithelial neoplasia, and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma were investigated immunohistochemically using 43 specimens of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. Sox9 expression in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma was compared with the clinicopathological features. The molecular effects of Sox9 were investigated by gene transfection to intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma cell lines. Results:
Sox9 expression was decreased from the normal epithelium to the biliary intraepithelial neoplasia in a stepwise fashion. In 51.2% (22/43) of the patients with intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, Sox9 expression was positive, and Sox9 expression was significantly associated with the biliary infiltration (P = 0.034) and poor overall survival (P = 0.039). Upregulation
of Sox9 promoted the cell migration and invasion, and decreased the E-cadherin expression and increased the vimentin and α-SMA expression in cell lines.
Conclusions: Decreased Sox9 expression may be related to the early stage of the carcinogenesis of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. Sox9 overexpression in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma is related to biliary infiltration and poorer prognosis, and it promotes cell migration and invasion, via the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition.