Tumor progression by epithelial-mesenchymal transition in ARID1A- and SMARCA4-aberrant solid-type poorly differentiated gastric adenocarcinoma

Taisuke Sasaki, Kenichi Kohashi, Shinichiro Kawatoko, Eikichi Ihara, Eiji Oki, Masafumi Nakamura, Yoshihiro Ogawa, Yoshinao Oda

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Solid-type poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma (PDA) of the stomach is frequently associated with microsatellite instability (MSI) and aberrations of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex. Previous studies showed that aberrant ARID1A and SMARCA4 expression induces mesenchymal transition. We analyzed 51 primary-site cases and 209 metastatic lymph nodes among solid-type PDA for the expression of SWI/SNF complex subunits (ARID1A, SMARCA4, SMARCB1, SMARCC2) and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers (E-cadherin, β-catenin, Snail). We also analyzed 40 cases of non-solid-type PDA as a stage-matched control group. Aberrant expression of ARID1A (39%) and SMARCA4 (49%) was more common in solid-type PDA than in non-solid-type PDA (ARID1A, P = 0.0049; SMARCA4, P < 0.0001). The group of solid-type PDA with aberrant ARID1A showed significantly longer overall and progression-free survival than the corresponding ARID1A-retained group (P = 0.0405 and P = 0.0296, respectively). Aberrant expression of EMT factors inducing mesenchymal transition in the groups with solid-type PDA at the primary site or metastatic lymph nodes with aberrant ARID1A was less common than in the corresponding groups with retained ARID1A (E-cadherin, primary site P = 0.0341, lymph node P < 0.0001; β-catenin, primary site P = 0.0293, lymph node P = 0.0010; Snail, primary site P = 0.0169, lymph node P = 0.0828). Furthermore, N3 of the TNM classification was more frequently observed in the group with solid-type PDA with retained ARID1A than in the corresponding ARID1A-aberrant group (P = 0.0288). Mesenchymal transition was not induced in the ARID1A-aberrant group, in which patients had favorable prognosis, and preserved epithelial characteristics in EMT may play an important role in low tumor aggressiveness of solid-type PDA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1063-1075
Number of pages13
JournalVirchows Archiv
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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