Research Papers:

Elevated expression of the IGF2 mRNA binding protein 2 (IGF2BP2/IMP2) is linked to short survival and metastasis in esophageal adenocarcinoma

Ahmad Barghash, Nicole Golob-Schwarzl, Volkhard Helms, Johannes Haybaeck and Sonja M. Kessler _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:49743-49750. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.10439

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Ahmad Barghash1,2, Nicole Golob-Schwarzl3, Volkhard Helms1, Johannes Haybaeck3, Sonja M. Kessler4

1Center for Bioinformatics, Saarland University, Saarbruecken, Germany

2School of Computer Engineering and Information Technology, German Jordanian University, Amman, Jordan

3Institute of Pathology, Medical University of Graz, Austria

4Department of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Biology, Saarland University, Saarbruecken, Germany

Correspondence to:

Sonja M. Kessler, email: [email protected]

Keywords: IGF2BP2/IMP2/p62, barret’s esophagus, esophageal squamous carcinoma, esophageal adenocarcinoma, metastasis

Received: November 17, 2015     Accepted: June 26, 2016     Published: July 06, 2016


Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) represents the sixth leading cause of cancer-related deaths and develops in Barret’s esophagus affected tissues. The IGF2 mRNA binding protein IMP2/IGF2BP2/p62 was originally identified as an autoantigen in hepatocellular carcinoma. Aim of this study was to investigate the expression and prognostic role of IMP2 in EAC. Human EAC and Barret’s esophagus tissue showed overexpression of IMP2, particularly in tumors of increased size and in metastatic tissues. Molecular classification based on published gene signatures of esophageal cancer revealed a specific subtype, in which the expression of IMP2 is high. According to GO and KEGG pathway analyses, genes showing highly correlated expression with IMP2 are associated with growth, proliferation, metabolism, inflammation, and cancerous processes. Clustering of EAC samples according to published survival marker genes strongly suggests that IMP2 overexpressing samples show poor survival. Finally, IMP2 expression correlated with short survival in patients with EAC or esophageal squamous carcinoma. Our data indicate that IMP2 might be a useful prognostic marker for Barret’s esophagus and EAC.

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