Significance of E-cadherin and Vimentin as epithelial-mesenchymal transition markers in colorectal carcinoma prognosis

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Zohreh Niknami
Ahad Muhammadnejad
Alireza Ebrahimi
Zahra Harsani
Reza Shirkoohi


Colorectal cancer is the most common malignancy of the gastrointestinal tract with very high mortality. One of the most distinguishing features for the establishment of an epithelial-mesenchymal transition phenotype is the alteration of mesenchymal markers and structural adhesion proteins. We investigated the level of Vimentin and E-cadherin expression in relation to invasion and metastasis on colorectal cancer patients. Tissue specimens were collected consecutively from thirty-nine colorectal carcinoma patients during surgeries. The patients were diagnosed and treated between 2013 and 2016. In order to histological staging, tissue sections were prepared from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded blocks and stained with Hematoxylin and Eosin. Also for evaluating the epithelial-mesenchymal transition markers, E-cadherin and Vimentin, all patient samples were stained and detected via immunohistochemistry, and afterwards the results were analyzed to determine whether these markers could be useful prognostic markers for predicting colorectal cancer patient outcomes. The expression of Vimentin as a mesenchymal marker along with rising grade of cancer, pathological stages, and metastasis to regional lymph nodes increased furthermore, in cancers with vascular invasion, Vimentin value was high. Reversely, the expression of E-cadherin with climbing grade, stages and colon cancer categories decreased and also in cancers with vascular invasion reduced. Variation of the markers had no relation to age and sex. In summary, along with cancer progression level of Vimentin expression varies inversely with E-cadherin expression and by increasing metastasis and invasion the Vimentin expression elevates. Further evaluation in this area might lead to a good method for predicting progressive clone cancer.

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Niknami, Z., Muhammadnejad, A., Ebrahimi, A., Harsani, Z., & Shirkoohi, R. (2020). Significance of E-cadherin and Vimentin as epithelial-mesenchymal transition markers in colorectal carcinoma prognosis. EXCLI Journal, 19, 917-926.
Original articles