Clinical Research Papers:

Reduced Connexin 43 expression is associated with tumor malignant behaviors and biochemical recurrence-free survival of prostate cancer

Ning Xu, Hui-Jun Chen, Shao-Hao Chen, Xue-Yi Xue _, Hong Chen, Qing-Shui Zheng, Yong Wei, Xiao-Dong Li, Jin-Bei Huang, Hai Cai and Xiong-Lin Sun

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:67476-67484. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11231

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Ning Xu1, Hui-Jun Chen1, Shao-Hao Chen1, Xue-Yi Xue1, Hong Chen2, Qing-Shui Zheng1, Yong Wei1, Xiao-Dong Li1, Jin-Bei Huang1, Hai Cai1 and Xiong-Lin Sun1

1 Department of Urology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou, China

2 Department of Pathology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou, China

Correspondence to:

Xue-Yi Xue, email:

Keywords: Connexin 43; prostate cancer; biochemical recurrence; immunohistochemistry; malignant behavior

Received: April 20, 2016 Accepted: July 28, 2016 Published: August 11, 2016


Connexin 43, a gap junction protein, coordinates cell-to-cell communication and adhesion. Altered Connexin 43 expression associated with cancer development and progression. In this study, we assessed Connexin 43 expression for association with clinicopathological features and biochemical recurrence of prostate cancer after radical prostatectomy. Pathological specimens were collected from 243 patients who underwent radical prostatectomy and from 60 benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) patients to construct tissue microarrays and immunohistochemical analysis of Connexin 43 expression. Kaplan-Meier curves and multivariable Cox proportion hazard model were performed to associate Connexin 43 expression with postoperative biochemical recurrence-free survival (BFS). Connexin 43 expression was significantly reduced or lost in tumor tissues compared to that of BPHs (39.1% vs. 96.7%, P<0.001). Reduced Connexin 43 expression was associated with high levels of preoperative PSA, high Gleason score, advanced pT stage, positive surgical margin, extracapsular extension, and seminal vesicle invasion (P < 0.05, for all). Kaplan–Meier curves showed that reduced Connexin 43 expression was associated with shortened postoperative BFS (P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis showed that reduced Connexin 43 expression, high Gleason score and advanced pT stage were independent predictors for BFS of patients (P < 0.05). Connexin 43 expression was significantly reduced or lost in prostate cancer tissues, which was associated with advanced clinicopathological features and poor BFS of patients after radical prostatectomy.

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