Early Detection Research Network

Identification of nectin-4 oncoprotein as a diagnostic and therapeutic target for lung cancer.

Gene expression profile analysis of lung cancers revealed the transactivation of an immunoglobulin-like molecule Nectin-4 in the majority of non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC). Immunohistochemical staining of 422 NSCLCs showed that a high level of Nectin-4 expression was associated with poor prognosis for NSCLC patients (P < 0.0001), and multivariate analysis confirmed its independent prognostic value (P < 0.0001). We established an ELISA to measure serum Nectin-4 and found that serum Nectin-4 levels were significantly higher in NSCLC patients than in healthy volunteers. The proportion of the serum Nectin-4-positive cases was 88 of 164 (53.7%) NSCLCs, whereas only 3 of 131 (2.3%) healthy volunteers were falsely diagnosed as positive, which was superior to carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and cytokeratin 19-fragment (CYFRA21-1) in sensitivity and specificity. A combined ELISA for both Nectin-4 and CEA increased sensitivity and classified 65.0% of lung adenocarcinomas as positive with false-positive rate of 4.6%. The use of both Nectin-4 and CYFRA21-1 classified 68.3% of lung squamous cell carcinomas as positive with false-positive rate of 6.1%. Treatment of lung cancer cells with small interfering RNAs against Nectin-4 suppressed its expression and cell growth. In addition, exogenous expression of Nectin-4 increased the lamellipodia formation and the invasive ability of mammalian cells through activation of small GTPase Rac1. Nectin-4 might play a significant role in lung carcinogenesis, and it should be a new candidate serum and tissue biomarker, as well as a therapeutic target.

Daigo Y, Inai K, Ishikawa N, Ito H, Kohno N, Masuda K, Miyagi Y, Nakamura Y, Nakayama H, Nishimura H, Nishino R, Takano A, Tsuchiya E, Yasui W


Cancer Res., 2009, 69 (16)

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