Over-expression of AEG-1 significantly associates with tumour aggressiveness and poor prognosis in human non-small cell lung cancer

J Pathol. 2009 Nov;219(3):317-26. doi: 10.1002/path.2595.


Astrocyte elevated gene 1 (AEG-1), a novel oncoprotein, has been implicated in oncogenesis and cancer progression in various types of human cancers. The clinical significance and biological role of AEG-1 in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), however, remain unclear. In the present study, we found that the expression of AEG-1 was markedly up-regulated in NSCLC cell lines and NSCLC tissues at the level of both transcription and translation. Ectopically expressed AEG-1 enhanced the migratory and invasive abilities of NSCLC cells, whereas knockdown of endogenous AEG-1 by specific shRNAs significantly inhibited these abilities. The function of AEG-1 on metastasis modulation was associated with the activation of the PI3K-Akt and NF-kappaB signalling pathways. Furthermore, we showed high expression of AEG-1 in 99/200 (49.5%) paraffin-embedded archival NSCLC specimens. Moreover, statistical analysis displayed a significant correlation in AEG-1 expression with the clinical stage (p < 0.001), T classification (p = 0.001), N classification (p = 0.015), distant metastasis (p = 0.004) and differentiation (p = 0.027). Patients with higher AEG-1 expression had an overall shorter survival time, whereas patients with lower expression of AEG-1 had a better survival time. Multivariate analysis suggested that AEG-1 expression might be an independent prognostic indicator for the survival of NSCLC patients. Taken together, our results suggest that elevated expression of AEG-1 plays an important role in the aggressiveness of NSCLC, leading to a poor clinical outcome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / biosynthesis*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / secondary
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / biosynthesis*
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / genetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Middle Aged
  • NF-kappa B / physiology
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / physiology
  • Prognosis
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Up-Regulation


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • MTDH protein, human
  • Membrane Proteins
  • NF-kappa B
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • RNA-Binding Proteins