1. Anyang Tumor Hospital, The Affiliated Anyang Tumor Hospital of Henan University of Science and Technology, Anyang 455000, Henan, China.
2. Henan Key Medical Laboratory of Precise Prevention and Treatment of Esophageal Cancer, Anyang 455000, Henan, China.
3. Shanghai Zhangjiang Institue of Medical Innovation, Shanghai Biotecan Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd., Shanghai 201204, China.
4. The Third Affiliated Hospital of Xinxiang Medical University, Xinxiang 453003, Henan Province, China.
#Haijun Yang, Jiahuan Zhou and Keyao He contributed equally to this work.
Background: This study aims to explore the role of RCAN1 in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) cells, determine the mRNA level of three RCAN1 isoforms in ESCC tissue, and evaluate the prognostic value of three RCAN1 isoforms.
Methods: Colony-forming assay, Wound-healing assay and Transwell assay were used to evaluate the effect of RCAN1 on cell proliferation, migration and invasion. The mRNA expression of three RCAN1 isoforms was detected in paired tumor and normal tissues from 100 ESCC patients by real-time PCR. Kaplan-Meier survival curves and Cox proportional hazards model were used to evaluate the prognostic value of three RCAN1 isoforms. A nomogram was used to predict the probability of 2-year and 5-year overall survival (OS).
Results: In vitro, knockdown of RCAN1 could promote ESCC cell proliferation, migration and invasion abilities. Compared to the paired normal tissues, RCAN1 isoform 1 (RCAN1.1, P=0.0027) and RCAN1 isoform 2 (RCAN1.2, P=0.0006) were significantly decreased in tumor tissues. The low expression of RCAN1.2 mRNA was associated with advanced stage (P=0.0176) and lymph node metastasis (LNM, P=0.0219). ESCC patients with low RCAN1.2 mRNA levels had shorter survival time compared to those with high RCAN1.2 levels (P=0.007). Multivariate COX analysis indicated that RCAN1.2 mRNA level was an independent prognostic indicator of OS of patients with ESCC (hazard ratio=0.5266, P=0.03554). The concordance index of nomogram to predict OS was 0.693 based on LNM, RCAN1.2, tumor stage and patients' age.
Conclusion: These findings show that RCAN1 gene play a role in preventing proliferation, migration, and invasive activity of ESCC cells. RCAN1.2 mRNA level is a novel prognostic marker in ESCC, targeting RCAN1.2 may provide a potential therapeutic approach in ESCC.
Keywords: RCAN1, esophageal cancer, tumor suppressor, prognosis, biomarker