FOXQ1 is an oncogene for a variety of tumors and encodes the forkhead boxrelated
transcription factor FoxQ1. However, little is known about the role of FoxQ1 in
pancreatic cancer (PC). In this study, we examined FoxQ1 expression in PC cell lines and
human PC tissues by quantitative PCR and tissue microarray based immunohistochemical
staining (IHC), and investigated the clinical correlation between FoxQ1 tissue levels and the
clinicopathological characteristics of PC patients. We found that FoxQ1 mRNA expression
was up-regulated both in PC cell lines and tumor tissues. IHC results revealed that FoxQ1
was mainly expressed in the cytoplasm, and to a lesser extent in the nucleus of PC cells. FoxQ1 protein levels
were significantly higher in PC tissues when compared with matched non-cancerous tissues, and associated
positively with the degree of tumor differentiation. Univariate and multivariate survival analysis revealed that
patients with high FoxQ1 expression and advanced TNM stage had poor prognosis (HR=1.856, 95%CI 1.065-
3.234, P=0.029; HR=2.091, 95%CI 1.181-3.705, P=0.01). These data indicate that FoxQ1 expression is
negatively associated with the overall survival of PC patients, and that this protein may therefore represent a
novel molecular target and new prognostic biomarker for PC.
Keywords: Pancreatic cancer, FoxQ1, prognosis, survival, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, molecular target.
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