Expression of Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition Proteins in Pancreatic Anaplastic (Undifferentiated) Carcinoma

Kazuyuki Ishida, Rina Yamashita, Mitsumasa Osakabe, Noriyuki Uesugi, Noriyuki Yamada, Hiroyuki Nitta, Fumiyoshi Fujishima, Fuyuhiko Motoi, Hiroyoshi Suzuki, Hiromune Shimamura, Yutaka Noda, Takashi Sawai, Michiaki Unno, Hironobu Sasano, Akira Sasaki, Tamotsu Sugai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives The aim of this study was to identify an association of pancreatic anaplastic carcinoma (APC) with the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Methods Resected APCs (n = 24) were examined to assess components of APCs, including carcinomatous, transitional, and sarcomatous regions. Analysis was performed based on the immunoreactivity of E-cadherin and 3 EMT-related proteins: Slug (zinc finger protein SNAI2), Twist (Twist-related protein 1), and Zeb1 (zinc finger E-box-binding homeobox 1). Expression score was determined based on staining intensity and stained area of the target cells. Finally, we performed a hierarchical clustering based on the expression pattern of E-cadherin and EMT-related proteins of the sarcomatous component. Results The expression score of E-cadherin decreased in the order of sarcomatous > transitional > carcinomatous components (P < 0.01). Although there were significant differences in the immunohistochemical scores of Slug, Twist, and Zeb1 between carcinomatous and transitional components (P < 0.01), the significant difference in immunohistochemical score of Zeb1 between transitional and sarcomatous components was found (P < 0.05). Furthermore, APCs were divided into 2 subgroups based on the expression patterns of E-cadherin and EMT-related proteins (hierarchical clustering analysis). Consequently, these subgroups were distinguished by Twist expression. Conclusions Epithelial-mesenchymal transition plays an essential role in the pathogenesis of APC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-42
Number of pages7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 1


  • carcinosarcoma
  • epithelial-mesenchymal transition
  • pancreas
  • pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma
  • undifferentiated (anaplastic) carcinoma


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