Prognostic significance of polo-like kinase expression in esophageal carcinoma.

Y. Tokumitsu, M. Mori, S. Tanaka, K. Akazawa, S. Nakano, Y. Niho

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135 Citations (Scopus)


PLK (polo-like kinase), which belongs to a family of serine/threonine kinases and represents the human counterpart of structurally related protein kinases, polo of Drosophila melanogaster and CDC5 of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, may be implicated in spindle formation and chromosome segregation during mitosis. There are, however, few reports on the significance of PLK gene expression in human carcinomas. In order to evaluate its clinical significance, we examined the expression of the PLK mRNA in 49 esophageal and 75 gastric carcinomas, using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis. In esophageal carcinomas, PLK overexpression was detected in 47 carcinomas (97%) when compared to the corresponding normal tissues. It is noteworthy that the patients with high-grade PLK overexpression represented a significantly poorer prognosis group than those with low-grade PLK overexpression (3-year survival rate: 54.9% vs 24.8%, p<0.05). A multivariate analysis demonstrated that the PLK mRNA expression status was an independent prognostic factor for patients with esophageal carcinoma. On the other hand, 55 gastric carcinomas (73%) were revealed to overexpress PLK mRNA, but the expression status showed no correlation with prognosis. This study demonstrated that the PLK overexpression was frequently observed in esophageal and gastric carcinomas, and appeared to be an independent prognostic factor for patients with esophageal carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)687-692
Number of pages6
JournalInternational journal of oncology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1999
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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