Objectives The aim of this study was to identify an association of pancreatic anaplastic carcinoma (APC) with the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Methods Resected APCs (n = 24) were examined to assess components of APCs, including carcinomatous, transitional, and sarcomatous regions. Analysis was performed based on the immunoreactivity of E-cadherin and 3 EMT-related proteins: Slug (zinc finger protein SNAI2), Twist (Twist-related protein 1), and Zeb1 (zinc finger E-box-binding homeobox 1). Expression score was determined based on staining intensity and stained area of the target cells. Finally, we performed a hierarchical clustering based on the expression pattern of E-cadherin and EMT-related proteins of the sarcomatous component. Results The expression score of E-cadherin decreased in the order of sarcomatous > transitional > carcinomatous components (P < 0.01). Although there were significant differences in the immunohistochemical scores of Slug, Twist, and Zeb1 between carcinomatous and transitional components (P < 0.01), the significant difference in immunohistochemical score of Zeb1 between transitional and sarcomatous components was found (P < 0.05). Furthermore, APCs were divided into 2 subgroups based on the expression patterns of E-cadherin and EMT-related proteins (hierarchical clustering analysis). Consequently, these subgroups were distinguished by Twist expression. Conclusions Epithelial-mesenchymal transition plays an essential role in the pathogenesis of APC.
- epithelial-mesenchymal transition
- pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma
- undifferentiated (anaplastic) carcinoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism