Integrated proteomics and genomics analysis reveals a novel mesenchymal to epithelial reverting transition in leiomyosarcoma through regulation of slug

Jilong Yang, James A. Eddy, Yuan Pan, Andrea Hategan, Ioan Tabus, Yingmei Wang, David Cogdell, Nathan D. Price, Raphael E. Pollock, Alexander J.F. Lazar, Kelly K. Hunt, Jonathan C. Trent, Wei Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Leiomyosarcoma is one of the most common mesenchymal tumors. Proteomics profiling analysis by reversephase protein lysate array surprisingly revealed that expression of the epithelial marker E-cadherin (encoded by CDH1) was significantly elevated in a subset of leiomyosarcomas. In contrast, E-cadherin was rarely expressed in the gastrointestinal stromal tumors, another major mesenchymal tumor type. We further sought to 1) validate this finding, 2) determine whether there is a mesenchymal to epithelial reverting transition (MErT) in leiomyosarcoma, and if so 3) elucidate the regulatory mechanism responsible for this MErT. Our data showed that the epithelial cell markers E-cadherin, epithelial membrane antigen, cytokeratin AE1/AE3, and pan-cytokeratin were often detected immunohistochemically in leiomyosarcoma tumor cells on tissue microarray. Interestingly, the E-cadherin protein expression was correlated with better survival in leiomyosarcoma patients. Whole genome microarray was used for transcriptomics analysis, and the epithelial gene expression signature was also associated with better survival. Bioinformatics analysis of transcriptome data showed an inverse correlation between E-cadherin and E-cadherin repressor Slug (SNAI2) expression in leiomyosarcoma, and this inverse correlation was validated on tissue microarray by immunohistochemical staining of E-cadherin and Slug. Knockdown of Slug expression in SK-LMS-1 leiomyosarcoma cells by siRNA significantly increased E-cadherin; decreased the mesenchymal markers vimentin and N-cadherin (encoded by CDH2); and significantly decreased cell proliferation, invasion, and migration. An increase in Slug expression by pCMV6-XL5-Slug transfection decreased E-cadherin and increased vimentin and N-cadherin. Thus, MErT, which is mediated through regulation of Slug, is a clinically significant phenotype in leiomyosarcoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2405-2413
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and Cellular Proteomics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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