Cripto-1 is a plasma membrane protein which is not expressed in adult tissue, but some tumors are accompanied by re-activation. We studied the clinical and biological significance of Cripto-1 in colorectal cancer. Cripto-1 was positive in 68 out of 192 cases (35%) by immunohistochemistry. Cripto-1 expression was correlated with worse prognosis and was an independent prognostic factor. Cripto-1-silenced colorectal cancer cell lines had reduced cell proliferation, migration, and activation of Akt and MAPK signaling pathways in vitro, and decreased tumor growth and lymph node metastasis in vivo. Cripto-1 could be a useful prognostic biomarker and therapeutic target in colorectal cancer.
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