Paxillin encodes a focal adhesion-associated protein and is involved in the progression and aggressive phenotypes of malignancies through its interactions with the actin cytoskeleton and key signal transduction oncogenes. The present study aimed to investigate the clinicopathological and prognostic significance of paxillin in gastric cancer. The expression of paxillin was evaluated using tissue microarrays of gastric adjacent non-cancerous mucosa, adenoma and carcinoma specimens by immunohistochemistry. Paxillin expression was compared against clinicopathological parameters and the survival time of the patients. Paxillin was highly expressed in gastric adenoma compared with that in non-neoplastic mucosa and carcinoma (P<0.05). Paxillin expression was lower in the younger carcinoma patients compared with that in the elder carcinoma patients (P<0.05). Paxillin expression was negatively correlated with tumor size, depth of invasion and lymph node metastasis, but not with patient gender, lymphatic or venous invasion, or TNM staging (P>0.05). Higher paxillin expression was observed in intestinal-type compared with diffuse-type carcinoma (P<0.05). Kaplan-Meier analysis indicated a positive association between paxillin expression and cumulative survival rate in all, advanced and intestinal-type carcinoma patients (P<0.05). Multivariate analysis using the Cox proportional hazards model indicated that patient age, depth of invasion, lymphatic invasion, lymph node metastasis, TNM staging and Lauren classification were independent prognostic factors for all gastric carcinomas (P<0.05). Aberrant paxillin expression may be involved in the growth, invasion, metastasis and differentiation of gastric carcinoma. Altered paxillin expression may, therefore, be employed as an indicator of pathobiological behaviors and prognosis of gastric carcinomas.
Keywords: clinicopathological behaviors; gastric carcinoma; paxillin; prognosis; tumorgenesis.