Mastl overexpression is associated with epithelial to mesenchymal transition and predicts a poor clinical outcome in gastric cancer
- Xian‑Jun Sun
- Yan‑Liang Li
- Long‑Gang Wang
- Li‑Qing Liu
- Heng Ma
- Wen‑Hong Hou
- Jin‑Ming Yu
Published online on: October 10, 2017
Copyright: © Sun et al.
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License.
Microtubule‑associated serine/threonine kinase like (Mastl) is deregulated in a number of types of human malignancy and may be a kinase target for cancer treatment. The aim of the present study was to determine the Mastl expression in gastric cancer and to clarify its clinical and prognostic significance. Immunohistochemistry was performed on a cohort of 126 postoperative gastric cancer samples to detect the expression of Mastl and two epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers, epithelial‑cadherin and Vimentin. The χ2 test, Kaplan‑Meier estimator analysis and Cox's regression model were used to analyze the data. Upregulated Mastl protein expression was observed in the gastric cancer tissues compared with that in the adjacent non‑cancerous gastric tissues. Increased Mastl expression was identified in 54/126 (42.9%) gastric cancer samples, and was significantly associated with lymph node metastasis, tumor relapse, EMT status and poor overall survival. Additional analysis demonstrated that the Mastl expression level stratified the patient outcome in stage III, but not stage II tumor subgroups. Cox's regression analysis revealed that increased Mastl expression was an independent prognostic factor for patients with gastric cancer. Mastl expression may be a valuable prognostic marker and a potential target for patients with gastric cancer.