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      Splice variant HE4-V3 expression is associated with favorable prognosis in pulmonary adenocarcinoma.

      Tumour Biology

      mortality, pathology, Adult, Aged, Disease-Free Survival, Female, Humans, Lung Neoplasms, Male, genetics, Middle Aged, Prognosis, Protein Isoforms, biosynthesis, Proteins, Tumor Markers, Biological, Adenocarcinoma

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          The human epididymis 4 (HE4) gene product, also known as whey-acidic-protein four-disulfide core domain protein 2, was identified as the transcript expressed in the epididymis and respiratory tract. HE4 is also expressed in lung adenocarcinoma. We investigated mRNA expressions of full-length HE4 and splice variants in lung adenocarcinoma, and the clinical impact of these genes was evaluated. One hundred and fifty-two patients with pulmonary adenocarcinoma underwent surgery in our institute from 2000 to 2008. We employed immunohistochemical analysis to determine the expression of HE4 and molecular analysis to evaluate full-length HE4 or splice variant gene expression in pulmonary adenocarcinoma. All of the 152 cases were full-length HE4 mRNA-positive; 88 of the 152 (57.9%) were HE4-V1-positive, and 140 of the 152 (92.1%) were HE4-V3-positive. Regarding the relationship between the clinicopathological characteristics of patients and these gene expressions, the histological subtype, tumor size, and vascular invasion were significantly associated with HE4-V3 expression. HE4-V3 expression was also closely correlated with the prognosis. The 5-year disease-free survival in the HE4-V3 high expression group showed a significantly favorable prognosis compared with the low expression group (p = 0.02). The 5-year overall survival rate in the HE4-V3 high expression group was significantly higher than in the HE4-V3 low expression group (p = 0.028). These data showed that high-level HE4-V3 expression is associated with a favorable prognosis in lung adenocarcinoma. Further investigation of HE4 splice variants may offer a new insight into this possibility.

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