Amino acid transporters are essential for maintenance and proliferation of both normal and transformed cells. In the present study, L-type amino-acid transporter 1 (LAT1) immunoreactive expression was investigated in gastric carcinomas, in comparison with gastric adenomas and non-neoplastic lesions, using our recently developed novel monoclonal antibody. In a total of 87 cases of advanced gastric cancer, high LAT1 expression was observed in carcinoma cells, predominantly at plasma membranes with greater intensity in non-scirrhous than scirrhous carcinomas. Gastric carcinoma cases with lymph node metastasis showed significantly higher LAT1 expression than cases without lymph node metastasis. A positive correlation with Ki-67 LI was observed and the highly expressing non-scirrhous carcinomas showed a significantly poorer prognosis than the low LAT1 group. Cox hazard test revealed that TNM stage and LAT1 expression were independent prognostic factors in non-scirrhous carcinoma group. Further, a significant poor prognosis was confirmed in high LAT1 expression group, when limited to undifferentiated carcinoma cases excluding scirrhous carcinoma. Lower levels were found in adenomas. In conclusion, LAT 1 expression may be linked with cell proliferation and prognosis of gastric carcinomas, and offers a potential target for future anticancer therapy by inhibitors.
© 2011 The Authors. Pathology International © 2011 Japanese Society of Pathology and Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.