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Prognostic Significance of Zinc Finger E-Box-Binding Homeobox Family in Glioblastoma

Peng Chen, Hongxin Liu, Aiwu Hou, Xibo Sun, Bingxuan Li, Jianyi Niu, Lingling Hu

(Department of Neurology, Yidu Central Hospital of Weifang, Weifang, Shandong, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24:1145-1151

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.905902

BACKGROUND: Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is an essential progress for tumor cell invasion to both epithelial and non-epithelial cancers, and zinc finger E-box-binding homeobox 1/2 (ZEB1/2) is a well-known promoter of EMT. In glioma cell lines, both ZEB1 and ZEB2 have been demonstrated to facilitate cancer cell proliferation and invasion with experiments in vitro. However, the clinical significance of ZEB1 and ZEB2 in glioblastoma (GBM) is still controversial.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We detected the expression of ZEB1 and ZEB2 in 91 cases of GBM with immunohistochemistry and investigated the correlation between clinicopathological factors and ZEB family expression with Fisher test. By univariate analysis with Kaplan-Meier test, we explored the prognostic significance of ZEB1/2 expression and the clinicopathological factors in GBM. By multivariate analysis with the Cox regression model, we identified the independent prognostic factors in GBM.
RESULTS: The percentages of ZEB1 high expression and ZEB2 high expression were 31.9% (29/91) and 41.9% (36/91), respectively. High expression of ZEB2 was significantly associated with lower survival rate of GBM patients (P=0.001). ZEB2, lower KPS score (P=0.004), gross total resection (P<0.001) and higher Ki67 percentage (P=0.001) were notably correlated to worse prognosis of GBM. With multivariate analysis, high expression of ZEB2 was demonstrated to be an independent prognostic factor indicating unfavorable prognosis of GBM (P=0.001, HR=3.86, and 95%CI=1.61–9.23).
CONCLUSIONS: High expression of ZEB2 is an independent prognostic factor predicting unfavorable prognosis of GBM, indicating that ZEB2 or its downstream proteins may be potential drug targets of GBM therapy.

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