Overexpression of glypican-1 implicates poor prognosis and their chemoresistance in oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma

Br J Cancer. 2016 Jun 28;115(1):66-75. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2016.183. Epub 2016 Jun 16.


Background: Despite the recent improvements in multimodal therapies for oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), the prognosis remains poor. The identification of suitable biomarkers for predicting the prognosis and chemo-sensitivity is required to develop targeted treatments and improve treatment results.

Methods: Proteins highly expressed in ESCC cell lines compared with normal oesophageal cell lines were screened by isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ). We identified glypican-1 (GPC1) as a novel molecule. The clinicopathological characteristics of GPC1 were evaluated by immunohistochemistry using ESCC specimens, and clinical parameters were assessed. The correlation between GPC1 expression levels and chemo-sensitivity were analysed in vitro.

Results: In the immunohistochemical assessment of 175 ESCC patients, 98.8% expressed GPC1. These patients demonstrated significantly poorer prognosis compared with patients with low-GPC1 expression by survival assay (P<0.001). Higher chemoresistance was observed in the GPC1 high-expression group. GPC1 expression levels positively correlated with chemo-sensitivity against cis-Diammineplatinum (II) dichloride (CDDP), and are potentially associated with anti-apoptotic function based on alterations in the MAPK downstream signalling pathway and Bcl-2 family member proteins.

Conclusions: GPC1 is an independent prognostic factor in ESCC and is a critical molecule for altering the threshold of chemoresistance to CDDP.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / genetics*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • Glypicans / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Prognosis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Glypicans