Overexpression of GRP78 and GRP94 are markers for aggressive behavior and poor prognosis in gastric carcinomas

Hum Pathol. 2008 Jul;39(7):1042-9. doi: 10.1016/j.humpath.2007.11.009. Epub 2008 May 14.


Glucose-related proteins (GRPs) are ubiquitously expressed in endoplasmic reticulum and able to assist in protein folding and assembly; consequently, they are considered as molecular chaperones. GRP78 and GRP94 expression was induced by glucose starvation and up-regulated in the malignancies. To clarify the roles of both molecules in tumorigenesis and progression of gastric carcinomas, immunohistochemistry was used on tissue microarray containing gastric carcinomas, adenomas, and nonneoplastic mucosa using the antibodies against GRP78 and GRP94, with a comparison of their expression with clinicopathological parameters of carcinomas. Gastric carcinoma cell lines (MKN28, AGS, MKN45, KATO-III, and HGC-27) were studied for both proteins by immunohistochemistry and Western blot. There was more expression of both proteins in gastric carcinoma and adenoma than in nonneoplastic mucosas (P < .05). All gastric carcinoma cell lines showed their expression at different levels. They were positively correlated with tumor size, depth of invasion, lymphatic and venous invasion, lymph node metastasis, and Union Internationale Contre le Cancer staging (P < .05), with positive relationship between both proteins (P < .05). Univariate analysis indicated the postsurgical cumulative survival rate of patients with positive GRP78 or GRP94 expression to be lower than that in those without GRP78 or GRP94 expression (P < .05), but the close link disappeared if stratified according to depth of invasion (P > .05). Multivariate analysis showed that age, depth of invasion, lymphatic invasion, lymph node metastasis, Union Internationale Contre le Cancer staging, and Lauren classification (P < .05), but not GRP78 and GRP94 expression, were independent prognostic factors for carcinomas (P > .05). Up-regulated expression of GRP78 and GRP94 was possibly involved in pathogenesis, growth, invasion, and metastasis of gastric carcinomas. They were considered objective and effective markers for the aggressive behavior and poor prognosis in gastric carcinomas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism*
  • Adenocarcinoma / mortality
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Lymph Nodes / metabolism
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Chaperones / metabolism*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Stomach Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / mortality
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology
  • Survival Rate
  • Tissue Array Analysis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Molecular Chaperones
  • endoplasmin
  • molecular chaperone GRP78