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Although the mechanisms of action of the transmembrane superfamilies, motility-related protein-1 (MRP-1/CD9) and KAI1/CD82, are not well known, they are reported to suppress the metastasis of several kinds of cancers. The suppression of cell motility by MRP-1/CD9 may cause suppression of the metastasis. As we could not find any reports concerning the expression of MRP-1/CD9 and KAI1/CD82 in oesophageal cancers we investigated their expression in oesophageal specimens. We conducted immunohistochemical staining for MRP-1/CD9 against 108 cases of oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma using anti-MRP-1/CD9 monoclonal antibody M31-15, and for KAI1/CD82 against 104 cases using anti-KAI1/CD82 monoclonal antibody C33. To investigate the gradual expression of MRP-1/CD9 and KAI1/CD82, 24 oesophageal dysplasias were immunohistochemically stained using the same method and then investigated.
The expression of both MRP-1/CD9 and KAI1/CD82 were positive on the cell membranes of normal oesophageal epithelial cells, but reduced or negative in the cancer cells. Reduced MRP-1/CD9 expressions significantly correlated to tumour depth (P = 0.0009). We found a significantly greater number of reduced or negative expression of MRP-1/CD9 and KAI1/CD82 in lymph node metastatic cases (P = 0.0003 and P = 0.0129, respectively), but not in distant metastatic cases. The 5-year survival rate of MRP-1/CD9-negative and reduced patients was significantly worse than those of positive patients (n = 108, curative cases, RO). Few cases remained KAI1/CD82-positive (9.6%; 10/104) in oesophageal cancer. Twenty (83.3%) and twenty-two (91.7%) cases out of 24 dysplasias were defined as KAI1/CD82-positive and MRP-1/CD9-positive, respectively. The decrease in MRP-1/CD9 and KAI1/CD82 expression may facilitate lymph node metastasis in oesophageal squamous cell carcinomas. Knowing the status of the expression of MRP-1/CD9 appears helpful in predicting the prognosis for each patient. © 1999 Cancer Research Campaign