Research Papers:

Overexpression of stathmin plays a pivotal role in the metastasis of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma

Gaijing Han, Zongyong Wu, Nan Zhao, Lanping Zhou, Fang Liu, Fangfei Niu, Yang Xu _ and Xiaohang Zhao

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:61742-61760. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.18687

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Gaijing Han1,*, Zongyong Wu2,*, Nan Zhao1, Lanping Zhou1, Fang Liu1, Fangfei Niu1, Yang Xu1 and Xiaohang Zhao1

1State Key Laboratory of Molecular Oncology, National Cancer Center/Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China

2Clinical Laboratory, National Cancer Center/Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China

*The authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Yang Xu, email: [email protected]

Xiaohang Zhao, email: [email protected]

Keywords: stathmin, integrinα5β1, FAK, ERK, ESCC

Received: November 30, 2016    Accepted: May 23, 2017    Published: June 27, 2017


Purpose: Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is a serious malignant tumor that affects human health. We analyzed the correlation between serum stathmin level and ESCC and elucidated the molecular mechanisms of stathmin's promotion of ESCC cell invasion and metastasis.

Methods: Stathmin level in ESCC and healthy control serum were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and the clinical parameters were analyzed. We established ESCC cells with stathmin overexpression or knockdown and then evaluated the effects of stathmin on invasion and metastasis in ESCC. Differentially expressed genes were analyzed by Human Transcriptome Array and confirmed by RT-PCR. The expression levels of the integrin family, focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) were detected by immunoblotting.

Results: Serum levels of stathmin were significantly higher in ESCC than in control serum and associated with lymph node metastasis, tumor stage and size. Furthermore, we found that stathmin promoted migration and invasion of ESCC cells in vitro and in vivo. In addition, we confirmed that the activation of the integrinα5β1/FAK/ERK pathway is increased in stathmin-overexpression cells and accelerates cell motility by enhancing cell adhesion ability.

Conclusion: Stathmin may predict a potential metastasis biomarker for ESCC.

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PII: 18687