Expression of human Piwi-like genes is associated with prognosis for soft tissue sarcoma patients

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Greither, Thomas
Koser, Franziska
Kappler, Matthias
Bache, Matthias
Lautenschläger, Christine
Göbel, Steffen
Holzhausen, Hans-Jürgen
Wach, Sven
Würl, Peter
Taubert, Helge

Background Argonaute genes are essential for RNA interference, stem cell maintenance and differentiation. The Piwi-like genes, a subclass of the Argonaute genes, are expressed mainly in the germline. These genes may be re-expressed in tumors, and expression of the Piwi-like genes is associated with prognosis in several types of tumors. Methods We measured the expression of Piwi-like mRNAs (Piwi-like 2–4) in 125 soft tissue sarcoma (STS) samples by qPCRs. Statistical tests were applied to study the correlation of expression levels with tumor-specific survival for STS patients. Results In multivariate Cox’s regression analyses, we showed that low Piwi-like 2 and Piwi-like 4 mRNA expression were significantly associated with a worse prognosis (RR = 1.87; p = 0.032 and RR = 1.82; p = 0.039). Low expression of both genes was associated with a 2.58-fold increased risk of tumor-related death (p = 0.01). Piwi-like 4 and combined Piwi-like 2 and 4 mRNA levels correlated significantly with prognosis (RR = 3.53; p = 0.002 and RR = 5.23; p = 0.004) only for female but not for male patients. However, combined low Piwi-like 2 and 3 transcript levels were associated with worse survival (RR = 5.90; p = 0.02) for male patients. Conclusions In this study, we identified a significant association between the expression of Piwi-like 2 and 4 mRNAs and the tumor-specific survival of soft tissue sarcoma patients. Furthermore, a connection between sex and the impact of Piwi-like mRNA expressions on STS patients’ prognosis was shown for the first time.

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BMC Cancer 12.272 (2012): 24.10.2012 <>
BMC Cancer 12.272 (2012): 24.10.2012 <>
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