Nectin-4 expression contributes to tumor proliferation, angiogenesis and patient prognosis in human pancreatic cancer

J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2015 Mar 28;34(1):30. doi: 10.1186/s13046-015-0144-7.


Background: Nectin-4 belongs to the nectin family that has diverse physiological and pathological functions in humans. Recent studies have also suggested some roles for Nectin-4 in several human cancers. However, the precise roles and clinical relevance of Nectin-4 in tumors are largely unknown.

Methods: Nectin-4 expression was investigated in 123 patients with pancreatic cancer by immunohistochemistry. Furthermore, we investigated the association of Nectin-4 in pancreatic cancer with tumor proliferation, angiogenesis and immunity by using immunohistochemistry and siRNA interference method.

Results: Patients with high Nectin-4 expression had poorer postoperative prognosis than those with low expression. Importantly, multivariate analysis indicated that Nectin-4 expression had a significant independent prognostic value in pancreatic cancer (HR = 1.721, 1.085-2.730; P = 0.021). Tumor Nectin-4 expression was significantly correlated with Ki67 expression. In addition, siRNA-mediated gene silencing of Nectin-4 significantly inhibited the cell proliferation in human pancreatic cancer cells, Capan-2 and BxPC-3. Furthermore, Nectin-4 expression was also positively correlated with VEGF expression and intratumoral microvessel density. However, there were no significant correlations of tumor Nectin-4 expression with tumor-infiltrating T cells.

Conclusion: Nectin-4 is a significant prognostic predictor, and may play a critical role in pancreatic cancer. Nectin-4 may be novel therapeutic target for pancreatic cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / genetics*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Female
  • Gene Expression*
  • Gene Silencing
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Ki-67 Antigen / metabolism
  • Lymphocytes, Tumor-Infiltrating / metabolism
  • Lymphocytes, Tumor-Infiltrating / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / genetics*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / surgery
  • Prognosis
  • RNA Interference
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / genetics
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / metabolism


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Ki-67 Antigen
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • nectin4 protein, human