The significance of this observation is unknown since no data are

The significance of this observation is unknown since no data are available see more up to date linking the two molecules. It is of interest that DG expression increases with cell differentiation while CD133 expression decreases in differentiated cells [7, 33, 43–45] thus suggesting a potential functional link between the two molecules. Further studies will be required to fully understand the biological significance of the observed relationship between the two molecules.

Conclusions To our knowledge, this is the first study analyzing the immunohistochemical expression of both CD133 and α-DG, two surface molecules previously reported to be altered in human colorectal cancers, in a large series of colon cancer patients. Our results demonstrate that an inverse relationship exists between the two molecules (Table 2) and that CD133 expression is an independent risk factor associated with patient survival in multivariate analyses (Tables  4 and 5). The role of CD133 as a biomarker for CSC is still debated [46].

Regardless of its significance as a CSC marker, however, our results suggest that evaluation of CD133 staining might be useful to identify colon cancer patients at high risk of recurrence and death. Thus, we believe, as previously reported, that it will be important to define standardized procedures and reagents to evaluate expression click here of this molecule in clinical samples [34]. Afterwards, a prospective multicenter evaluation of CD133 immunostaining on a larger population of surgically resected colon cancers is warranted to allow a conclusive and definitive assessment of its suitability in predicting tumor aggressiveness and outcome in colon cancer patients. Acknowledgments This work was supported

by grants from Università Cattolica (to A.S.). References 1. Horst D, Kriegl L, Engel J, Kirchner T, Jung A: CD133 expression is an independent prognostic marker for low survival in colorectal cancer. Br J Cancer 2008, 99:1285–1289.PubMedCrossRef 2. Kojima M, Ishii G, Atsumi N, Fujii Clomifene S, Saito N, Ochiai A: Immunohistochemical detection of CD133 expression in colorectal cancer: a clinicopathological study. Cancer Sci 2008, 99:1578–1583.PubMedCrossRef 3. Li C, Li B, Liang Y, Peng R, Ding Y, Xu D, et al.: Higher percentage of CD133+ cells is associated with poor prognosis in colon carcinoma patients with stage IIIB. J Transl Med 2009, 7:56.PubMedCrossRef 4. Winder SJ: The complexities of dystroglycan. TIBS 2001, 26:118–124.PubMed 5. Muschler J, Levy D, Boudreau R, Henry M, Campbell K, Bissell MJ: A role for dystroglycan in epithelial polarization: loss of function in breast tumor cells. Cancer Res 2002, 62:7102–7109.PubMed 6. Sgambato A, Brancaccio A: The dystroglycan complex: from biology to cancer. J Cell Physiol 2005, 205:163–169.PubMedCrossRef 7. Sgambato A, Di Salvatore M, De Paola B, Rettino A, Faraglia B, Boninsegna A, et al.

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