Background: Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is a highly aggressive tumour with poor prognosis and limited response to therapy. New markers for the prediction of prognosis in MM and in pulmonary adenocarcinoma of the pleura are valuable. GATA-6 belongs to a six member zinc finger transcription factor family named after their recognition motif W-GATA-R.
Aim: To clarify the distribution and possible function of GATA-6 transcription factor in MM and in pleural metastasis of lung adenocarcinomas.
Methods: 63 pleural MM and 36 pleural metastatic pulmonary adenocarcinomas were studied for GATA-6 expression by immunohistochemistry using tissue microarrays. Expression of GATA-6 was examined in relation to thyroid transcription factor-1 expression, survival, proliferation and apoptosis.
Results: Nuclear immunoreactivity for GATA-6 was stronger and more frequent in MM than in metastatic pleural adenocarcinoma. Prognosis was better in patients with GATA-6 expression when compared to those with no GATA-6 expression (p = 0.002); in the subgroup analysis the difference was significant in epithelial and sarcomatous mesothelioma. GATA-6 was not associated with spontaneous proliferation or apoptosis of the tumour cells in situ.
Conclusion: Results suggest that GATA-6 plays a role in pleural malignancies, predicting longer survival in subgroups of MM.
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Funding: This study was supported by K. Albin Johansson Foundation, Helsinki University Hospital Fund, Finnish Antituberculosis Association Foundation, Finnish Cancer Society, Sigrid Juselius Foundation, the Pediatric Research Foundation, the Finnish Medical Foundation and the Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation.
Competing interests: None.
Ethics approval: Obtained.