Objective: System l-amino acid transport mediates the uptake of aromatic neutral amino acids and nutritionally essential amino acids from extracellular fluids. Little is known about the role of l-amino acid transporter 1 (LAT1), a member of the system l-amino acid transporter family, in non-small-cell lung carcinomas (NSCLCs).
Patients and methods: We examined (i) LAT1 mRNA levels in 40 normal lung tissues (NLTs) and 237 NSCLCs using semiquantitative RT-PCR, (ii) LAT1 protein expression in 295 NSCLCs using immunohistochemistry, and (iii) whether LAT1 mRNA and protein expressions were related to clinicopathologic findings and outcome.
Results: The LAT1 mRNA level was significantly higher in all NSCLCs (6.81+/-1.13) than in NLT (1.00+/-0.18). The LAT1 mRNA level showed no association with clinicopathologic findings or outcome. LAT1 protein was detected with a diffuse or granular appearance within the cytoplasm and/or on the plasma membrane of tumor cells. When tumors were graded as positive if staining indicating a plasma membrane expression of LAT1 protein made up more than 10% of the tumor, the frequency of this membrane expression was found to be associated with tumor histology, differentiation grade, pathologic stage, T classification, pleural invasion, lymph-vessel invasion, and overall survival rate.
Conclusion: Detection of a plasma membrane expression of LAT1 protein would appear to be of value in informing the prognosis in NSCLC cases.
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