Table of Contents
ISRN Pathology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 132472, 7 pages
Research Article

Snail Protein Expression as a Hallmark of Gastric Carcinoma in Biopsy Samples

First Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Wakayama Medical University, 811-1 Kimiidera, Wakayama 641-0011, Japan

Received 31 March 2012; Accepted 11 June 2012

Academic Editors: J. A. Jimenez-Heffernan, G. Valente, and A. Wincewicz

Copyright © 2012 Hiroyuki Tanishima et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Overexpression of the Snail gene transcriptional repressor promotes an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in epithelial tumor cell lines. In this study, we aimed to determine the correlation between Snail protein expression and clinicopathological features and to test whether Snail can be used as a marker to distinguish gastric carcinomas from benign tissues in biopsy samples. The results of immunohistochemistry with an antibody against Snail showed that most adenocarcinomas had positive Snail expression, whereas weak Snail expression was detected in a small number of gastritis and gastric adenomas. Snail-positive cells were detected in the stroma as well as in the glandular epithelium in some adenocarcinomas. In addition to Snail immunostaining, immunostaining of the EMT-related molecules, E-cadherin and vimentin, was performed. E-cadherin was not detected in adenocarcinomas that expressed Snail, whereas gastritis and adenomas stained positively for E-cadherin. Vimentin expression was seen in adenocarcinomas with positive Snail expression, whereas gastritis and adenomas did not express vimentin. In conclusion, we propose that Snail is a useful biomarker to distinguish gastric adenocarcinomas from benign lesions in biopsy samples.