Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) in Intraductal Papillary Mucinous Neoplasm (IPMN) is Associated with High Tumor Grade and Adverse Outcomes

Guy Lahat*, Nir Lubezky, Shelly Loewenstein, Eran Nizri, Sarah Gan, Metzada Pasmanik-Chor, Luciile Hayman, Eli Barazowsky, Menahem Ben-Haim, Joseph M. Klausner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is generally associated with increased tumor aggressiveness and poor prognosis. We evaluated EMT characteristics in intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN) tumor specimens and their potential role as biomarkers for malignancy, metastasis, and adverse patient outcomes.

Methods: IPMN surgical specimens were identified and reviewed by two gastrointestinal pathologists. Immunohistochemical analysis of E-cadherin, vimentin, and ZEB-1 was performed. Samples were linked to clinicopathologic and outcome data for these patients. Western blot test was used to evaluate ZEB-1 expression in IPMN samples; 846 human miRNAs were profiled, and EMT-related differentially expressed miRNAs were validated using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction.

Results: Fifty-eight IPMN specimens and five normal pancreatic tissue samples were immunohistochemically stained and scored. E-cadherin expression was significantly lower in malignant versus low-grade IPMN (p < 0.05). Vimentin expression was increased in malignant IPMN tumor samples (p < 0.05). EMT was associated with increased lymph node metastasis and decreased survival of malignant IPMN patients (p < 0.05). ZEB-1, an imperative EMT regulator, was exclusively expressed by malignant IPMN tumors. miRNA hierarchical clustering demonstrated grouping of two main IPMN subgroups: low-grade IPMN versus high-grade IPMN and carcinoma. Twenty-four miRNAs were differentially expressed (14 up-regulated, 10 down-regulated). The EMT-regulatory miRNAs, miR-200c and miR-141, were down-regulated (twofold and 1.8-fold decrease, respectively) in malignant versus low-grade IPMN (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: EMT may play a role in IPMN tumorigenesis and metastasis. EMT molecular deregulations could be utilized as potential novel biomarkers for the identification of high-risk IPMN patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)750-757
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Surgical Oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2014


Dive into the research topics of 'Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) in Intraductal Papillary Mucinous Neoplasm (IPMN) is Associated with High Tumor Grade and Adverse Outcomes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this