CDX2 and liver-intestine (LI)-cadherin are intestine-specific markers and both are physiologically expressed in the small intestine and colon. Recent studies have demonstrated that CDX2 regulates LI-cadherin gene (CDH17) expression in colorectal cancer. The present study investigated the relationship of CDX2 and LI-cadherin expression in gastric cancer. One hundred and nine pairs of tumour and non-cancerous gastric mucosa were collected from gastrectomy specimens. Protein expression levels of CDX2 and LI-cadherin were determined by immunohistochemical staining. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR showed that the mRNAs of both CDX2 and CDH17 were highly expressed in tumour compared with non-cancerous mucosa. Overexpression of CDX2 was significantly associated with CDH17 in gastric adenocarcinoma. Furthermore, the expression of CDX2 and LI-cadherin proteins was strongly coupled in intestinal metaplasia. In conclusion, overexpression of CDH17 is significantly associated with CDX2.
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