Basic Study
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2019. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Clin Cases. Aug 6, 2019; 7(15): 1954-1963
Published online Aug 6, 2019. doi: 10.12998/wjcc.v7.i15.1954
Vestigial like family member 3 is a novel prognostic biomarker for gastric cancer
Li-Hua Zhang, Zhuo Wang, Long-Hai Li, Yan-Kui Liu, Lin-Fang Jin, Xiao-Wei Qi, Chun Zhang, Teng Wang, Dong Hua
Li-Hua Zhang, Dong Hua, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, Jiangsu Province, China
Li-Hua Zhang, Teng Wang, Dong Hua, Department of Oncology, Affiliated Hospital of Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214062, Jiangsu Province, China
Zhuo Wang, Department of Geriatrics, Wuxi People's Hospital Affiliated to Nanjing Medical University, Wuxi 214023, Jiangsu Province, China
Long-Hai Li, Chun Zhang, Wuxi Medical College, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, Jiangsu Province, China
Yan-Kui Liu, Lin-Fang Jin, Xiao-Wei Qi, Department of Pathology, Affiliated Hospital of Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214062, Jiangsu Province, China
Author contributions: Zhang LH and Wang Z contributed equally to this work; Wang T and Hua D designed the research; Li LH, Liu YK, Jin LF, Qi XW, and Zhang C performed the research; Wang T and Hua D contributed new reagents and analytic tools; Li LH, Zhang LH, and Wang Z analyzed the data; Zhang LH and Wang Z wrote the paper.
Supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province, No. BK20171150; the National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 81502042; Research Project of Health and Family Planning Commission of Wuxi, No. Q201758; and Nanchang Hongda Jianghua Educational Foundation.
Institutional review board statement: This study was reviewed and approved by Affiliated Hospital of Jiangnan University Institutional Review Board.
Informed consent statement: Any personal item or information will not be published without explicit consent from the involved persons.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors report no conflicts of interest in this work.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Dong Hua, MD, PhD, Chief Doctor, Professor, Department of Oncology, Affiliated Hospital of Jiangnan University, No. 200, Huihe Road, Wuxi 214062, Jiangsu Province, China.
Telephone: +86-510-88682109 Fax: +86-510-85808820
Received: March 22, 2019
Peer-review started: March 22, 2019
First decision: May 13, 2019
Revised: June 22, 2019
Accepted: July 3, 2019
Article in press: July 3, 2019
Published online: August 6, 2019
Research background

Gastric cancer (GC) is the most prevalent gastrointestinal tract malignancy. The prognosis of GC patients remains relatively poor. It is urgent to explore prognostic markers for GC.

Research motivation

There are insufficient reports about the correlation between VGLL3 and GC.

Research objectives

The aim of the present study was to explore the expression pattern and clinical significance of VGLL3 in GC.

Research methods

It was found that VGLL3 would be a potential prognostic marker by bioinformatics analysis. To validate the in silico data, the authors identified the expression of VGLL3 in GC patient samples by immunohistochemistry and evaluated clinical outcomes.

Research results

Analysis of the ONCOMINE and GEPIA databases showed that VGLL3 was significantly up-regulated in GC tissues, and associated with the tumor TNM stage. In addition, the high VGLL3 expression group had a significantly worse prognosis compared to the low expression group, as per both GEPIA and ONCOLNC. The bioinformatics results were validated by the significantly higher VGLL3 mRNA and protein levels in the GC tissues compared to the adjacent normal tissues in a cohort of 30 GC patients. Furthermore, high in situ expression of VGLL3 protein was associated with more advanced N and TNM stages and HER2 mutation in a cohort of 172 patients. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that the high VGLL3 expression group had a worse prognosis compared to the low VGLL3 expression group. Multivariate analysis showed that VGLL3 expression status was an independent risk factor for prognosis. In addition, the prognostic risk model nomogram showed that VGLL3 was the most important indicator, with an AUC of 0.613 for 3-year survival and 0.706 for 5-year survival. Finally, the protein interaction network analysis revealed that VGLL3 is likely involved in the Hippo signaling pathway.

Research conclusions

VGLL3 is overexpressed in GC tissues and associated with a poor prognosis, indicating its potential as a novel prognosis biomarker and therapeutic target for GC.

Research perspectives

The present study suggested that VGLL3 is a novel prognostic biomarker for GC, and the significance of VGLL3 as a promising therapeutic target for GC is highlighted.