Research Papers:

HMGA2 overexpression plays a critical role in the progression of esophageal squamous carcinoma

Antonio Palumbo Jr _, Nathalia Meireles Da Costa, Francesco Esposito, Marco De Martino, Daniela D'Angelo, Vanessa Paiva Leite de Sousa, Ivanir Martins, Luiz Eurico Nasciutti, Alfredo Fusco and Luis Felipe Ribeiro Pinto

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:25872-25884. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.8288

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Antonio Palumbo Jr1,2, Nathalia Meireles Da Costa1, Francesco Esposito3, Marco De Martino3, Daniela D’Angelo3, Vanessa Paiva Leite de Sousa1, Ivanir Martins4, Luiz Eurico Nasciutti2, Alfredo Fusco1,3, Luis Felipe Ribeiro Pinto1

1Programa de Carcinogênese Molecular, Instituto Nacional de Câncer - INCA, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

2Laboratório de Interações Celulares, Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro Prédio de Ciências da Saúde - Cidade Universitária, Ilha do Fundão, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

3Istituto di Endocrinologia e Oncologia Sperimentale - CNR c/o Dipartimento di Medicina Molecolare e Biotecnologie Mediche, Università degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”, Naples, Italy

4Divisão de Patologia, Instituto Nacional de Câncer - INCA, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

Correspondence to:

Luis Felipe Ribeiro Pinto, email: [email protected]

Keywords: esophageal cancer, HMGA proteins, cancer progression, diagnostic marker, malignant phenotype reversion

Received: October 05, 2015    Accepted: March 11, 2016    Published: March 23, 2016


Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma (ESCC) is the most common esophageal tumor worldwide. However, there is still a lack of deeper knowledge about biological alterations involved in ESCC development. High Mobility Group A (HMGA) protein family has been related with poor outcome and malignant cell transformation in several tumor types. In this way, the aim of this study was to analyze the expression of HMGA1 and HMGA2 expression in ESCC and their role in crucial cellular features. We evaluated HMGA1 and HMGA2 mRNA expression in 52 paired ESCC and normal surrounding tissue samples by qRT-PCR. Here, we show that HMGA2, but not HMGA1, is overexpressed in ESCC samples. This result was further confirmed by the immunohistochemical analysis. Indeed, accordingly to mRNA expression data, HMGA2, but not HMGA1, was overexpressed in approximately 90% of ESCC samples, while it was barely expressed in the respective control. Conversely, HMGA1, but not HMGA2, was overexpressed in esophageal adenocarcinoma samples. Interestingly, HMGA2 abrogation attenuated the malignant phenotype of two ESCC cell lines, suggesting that HMGA2 overexpression is involved in ESCC progression.

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