Research Papers:

High expression levels of MAGE-A9 are correlated with unfavorable survival in lung adenocarcinoma

Xiaolu Zhai, Liqin Xu, Siya Zhang, Huijun Zhu, Guoxin Mao _ and Jianfei Huang

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:4871-4881. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.6741

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Xiaolu Zhai1, Liqin Xu2, Siya Zhang1, Huijun Zhu3, Guoxin Mao1, Jianfei Huang3

1Department of Chemotherapy, Nantong University Affiliated Hospital, Nantong 226001, Jiangsu, China

2Department of Respiratory, Nantong University Affiliated Hospital, Nantong 226001, Jiangsu, China

3Department of Pathology, Nantong University Affiliated Hospital, Nantong 226001, Jiangsu, China

Correspondence to:

Guoxin Mao, e-mail: [email protected]

Jianfei Huang, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: MAGE-A9, lung adenocarcinoma, immunohistochemistry, prognosis, apoptosis

Received: August 25, 2015     Accepted: November 25, 2015     Published: December 23, 2015


A variety of melanoma-associated antigen-A (MAGE-A) protein are commonly detected in lung cancers. Their biological function is not well characterized but may involve cell cycle progression and the regulation of apoptosis. We hypothesized that MAGE-A9 is involved in the regulation of apoptosis. To test this hypothesis, we evaluated MAGE-A9 protein expression by immunohistochemical staining and we assessed the relationship between the expression of MAGE-A9 and clinical pathological parameters. In addition, we investigated the effect of MAGE-A9 down-regulation in lung adenocarcinoma. The results showed that a high expression level of MAGE-A9 protein in lung adenocarcinoma tumor cells was related to larger tumor diameter (P = 0.013) and poor differentiation (P = 0.029). Cox regression analysis revealed that the expression of MAGE-A9 in lung adenocarcinoma tumor cells (P < 0.001) is an independent prognostic factor in five-year survival rates. NSCLC cells with silenced MAGE-A9 had decreased cell proliferation, migration and invasion in cell culture compared to corresponding control cells. The NSCLC cells showing down-regulated MAGE-A9 induced the expression of apoptosis-associated proteins. In addition, MAGE-A9 was associated with resistance to conventional chemotherapeutic agents. Our findings provide evidence that MAGE-A9 could be a potential therapeutic target in NSCLC.

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