Published online Sep 26, 2022. doi: 10.12998/wjcc.v10.i27.9657
Peer-review started: May 17, 2022
First decision: June 16, 2022
Revised: June 30, 2022
Accepted: August 21, 2022
Article in press: August 21, 2022
Published online: September 26, 2022
Sex determining region Y-box 2 (SOX2) is a promoter of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and high expression of SOX2 is related to the proliferation, migration, and invasion of SCC. However, there is limited knowledge of the relationship between SOX2 and the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in esophageal SCC (ESCC).
Single cell sequencing proteomics studies can characterize the heterogeneity of cells within a tissue. For example, studies using this method reported that SOX2 was only expressed in epithelial cells, and was highly expressed in the epithelial cells of ESCC. Our previous bioinformatics research using TCGA database found that SOX2 expression was closely related to the EMT and the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway in ESCC. The present study was performed to verify the role of SOX2 during the EMT in ESCC and to determine its value as a prognostic indicator in these patients.
Perform tissue-level studies to determine if SOX2 is related to the EMT and clinicopathological characteristics in ESCC patients, and its possible role as a prognostic indicator in these patients.
The expression of SOX2, vimentin, and E-cadherin were determined by immunohistochemical staining and scoring, and the relationship between SOX2 expression and two classical marker proteins of the EMT was analyzed.
SOX2 had higher expression in ESCC than normal tissue, and its expression had positive correlations with the tumor invasion and tumor size. There was a negative correlation between SOX2 and overall survival, and SOX2 expression was an independent risk factor for prognosis of patients with ESCC. There was also a positive correlation between the expression of SOX2 and vimentin. SOX2 may promote the EMT in ESCC due to its direct or indirect interaction with vimentin.
SOX2 expression is an important prognostic indicator in patients with ESCC, and it appears to promote the migration, invasion, and infiltration of ESCC via vimentin.
Our clinical experiments indicated a correlation of SOX2 expression with the EMT and with activation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. It is possible that inhibition of SOX2 expression in ESCC will inhibit the EMT, reduce tumor invasiveness, and improve patient prognosis.