Expression of transcript factors SALL4 and OCT4 in a subset of non-small cell lung carcinomas (NSCLC)

Erika Rodriguez, Li Chen, Ming Hui Ao, Susan Geddes, Ed Gabrielson, Frederic Askin, Hui Zhang, Qing Kay Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: SALL4 and OCT4 are transcription factors and play essential roles in stem cell development and oncogenesis. However, the expression of these transcription factors has not been well studied in lung cancers. In this study, we evaluated the expression of SALL4 and OCT4 in non-small cell lung carcinomas (NSCLC) by immunochemistry. NSCLC tissue microarrays (TMAs) were constructed with a total of 77 primary lung adenocarcinomas (ADCs) and 90 primary lung squamous cell carcinomas (SqCCs). A mouse monoclonal anti-human SALL4 (1:400 dilution) and a polyclonal anti-human OCT4 (1:200 dilution) antibodies were used. Nuclear staining of SALL4 and OCT4 was scored semi-quantitatively using a three tiered scale. The expressions of SALL4 and OCT4 were correlated with the tumor differentiation, pathological stage, and patients’ clinical information.

Results: In primary ADCs, the stronger expression of SALL4 and OCT4 was 7.8% and 9.1%, respectively. The stronger expression of SALL4 was inversely correlated with tumor differentiations. In primary SqCCs, the stronger expressions of SALL4 and OCT4 were 16.7% and 0%, respectively. The expression of SALL4 is correlated with the expression of OCT4, but inversely correlated with the tumor stage in SqCCs.

Conclusions: We found that both SALL4 and OCT4 were differentially expressed in a subset of primary ADC and SqCC. Our finding suggest that different stem cell markers may be expressed and/or play differential role in different subtypes of NSCLC. The potential role of SALL4 and OCT4 needs to be further investigated in NSCLC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number10
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalChemical Research in Chinese Universities
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2 2014


  • Immunohistochemistry (IHC)
  • Lung cancer biopsy and tissue microarray (TMA)
  • Metastatic NSCLC
  • Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)
  • Transcription factor SALL4 and OCT4

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)


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