HN1L promotes invasion and metastasis of the esophagogastric junction adenocarcinoma

Thorac Cancer. 2021 Mar;12(5):650-658. doi: 10.1111/1759-7714.13842. Epub 2021 Jan 20.


Background: Adenocarcinoma of the esophagogastric junction (AEG) refers to cancer that crosses the line of the gastroesophageal junction and includes distal esophageal cancer and proximal gastric cancer. It is characterized by early metastasis and a poor prognosis and has few treatment options. Here, we report a novel potential therapeutic target, hematological and neurological expressed 1-like (HN1L), in AEG.

Methods: A total of 38 patients who underwent surgical resection of AEG at the Department of Thoracic Surgery of Shandong Provincial Hospital from September 2018 to June 2019 were enrolled into the study. We detected the expression of HN1L in AEG and adjacent nontumor tissues by IHC staining. The clinicopathological characteristics of HN1L were statistically analyzed. Then, the expression of HN1L in different cell lines was detected by RT-q PCR. Finally, AGS and HGC-27 cell lines were performed to inhibit HN1L by shRNA in order to explore its role in the development of AEG.

Results: Immunohistochemical staining showed that the expression of HN1L in cancer tissues was higher than that in nontumor tissue (p < 0.001). High expression of HN1L was significantly correlated with TNM stage (p = 0.013) and lymph node metastasis (p = 0.03). The expression of HN1L was upregulated in tumor cell lines compared with normal cell line. Additionally, Cell function studies demonstrated that lentivirus-mediated shRNA silencing of HN1L expression could effectively reduce the proliferation, invasion, and metastasis of tumor cell lines and promote their apoptosis (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: HN1L expression might contribute to the invasion and metastasis of AEG and is a promising therapeutic target.

Keywords: HN1L; adenocarcinoma of the esophagogastric junction; invasion; metastasis; proliferation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / genetics*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / physiology
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Esophagogastric Junction / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / genetics*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Transfection


  • JPT2 protein, human
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins

Supplementary concepts

  • Adenocarcinoma Of Esophagus