CD146 expression correlates with epithelial-mesenchymal transition markers and a poor prognosis in gastric cancer

Int J Mol Sci. 2012;13(5):6399-406. doi: 10.3390/ijms13056399. Epub 2012 May 23.


CD146 has been regarded as a novel potential therapeutic target for multiple cancers. The aim of the study was to investigate the expression of CD146 in gastric cancer and evaluate its clinical-pathological and prognostic significance. The expression of CD146 and three epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-related proteins (E-cadherin, β-catenin and vimentin) was examined in 144 gastric cancers by immunohistochemistry. Fifty-nine cases (41.0%) were defined as positive for CD146 expression. We found that CD146 expression correlated positively with lymph node involvement and a poor prognosis, and retained an independent prognostic factor for gastric cancer patients. Furthermore, positive expression of CD146 was strongly associated with loss of the epithelial marker E-cadherin and acquisition of the expression of the mesenchymal markers nuclear β-catenin and vimentin. These findings suggest that CD146 might promote EMT and progression in gastric cancer, and thus may be a potential therapeutic target for patients with gastric cancers.

Keywords: CD146; epithelial-mesenchymal transition; gastric cancer; immunohistochemistry; prognosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • CD146 Antigen / metabolism
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Stomach Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • CD146 Antigen
  • MCAM protein, human