HMGA2 protein expression correlates with lymph node metastasis and increased tumor grade in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

Department of Pathology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.
Modern Pathology (Impact Factor: 6.36). 09/2008; 22(1):43-9. DOI: 10.1038/modpathol.2008.140
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is a highly aggressive, lethal human malignancy that continues to elude successful treatment. Although most patients present with metastatic disease, the molecular pathways that underlie tumor progression and metastases are poorly understood. The high mobility group A2 (HMGA2) protein is an architectural transcription factor that has recently been implicated in the development and progression of malignant tumors. Here, we examined HMGA2 gene expression in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma to determine if it could be a marker for more advanced disease. By real time quantitative RT-PCR, we showed a marked increase in HMGA2 mRNA in two of three cultured pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cell lines compared to normal pancreatic tissue. Using tissue microarrays generated from 124 pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cases, we also assessed HMGA2 protein levels by immunohistochemical analysis. We found that HMGA2 nuclear immunoreactivity correlates positively with lymph node metastases and high tumor grade. Our results support a role for HMGA2 in the progression of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and suggest that it could be a useful biomarker and rational therapeutic target in more advanced disease.

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