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Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 971050, 7 pages
Research Article

Connexin 43 Is a Potential Prognostic Biomarker for Ewing Sarcoma/Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor

1Department of Anatomic Pathology, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL 33612, USA
2Program of Experimental Therapeutics, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL 33612, USA
3Biostatistics Core, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL 33612, USA
4Department of Sarcoma, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL 33612, USA
5Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 800-789, USA

Received 3 August 2010; Revised 3 December 2010; Accepted 9 March 2011

Academic Editor: C. Verhoef

Copyright © 2011 Marilyn M. Bui 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.


Connexins (Cxs) are building unit proteins of gap junctions (GJs) that are prognostic markers in carcinomas. To investigate the role of Cx in Ewing sarcoma (EWS)/primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET), we examined the expression of Cx43 and Cx26 in 36 EWS/PNETs and found (1) cytoplasmic Cx43 reactivity in 28/36 (78%) cases. (2) Cx43 score was significantly correlated with overall survival ( ). The average scores for patients alive and dead at 3 years are 46.08 and 96.98 ( ) at 5 years are 46.06 and 96.42 ( ). (3) Metastasis had a significant effect on the overall survival ( ). (4) Cytoplasmic Cx26 reactivity was detected in 2 of 36 (6%) patients who died with metastasis. Our results suggest a possible oncogenic and prognostic role for Cx43 and Cx26 in EWS/PNET. The lack of membranous immunoreactivity suggests that the effect of Cx in EWS/PNET is via a GJ function-independent mechanism.