Ampullary adenocarcinoma is a rare gastrointestinal cancer in which WNT signalling dysregulation has been previously reported. Secreted frizzled related protein 1 (SFRP1) is one of the extracellular ligands of WNT signalling. We performed bioinformatics analyses of SFRP1 expression in human cancer. Microarray analysis of SFRP1 in periampullary adenocarcinoma was obtained from the Gene Expression Omnibus GSE39409 dataset. SFRP1 expression in ampullary adenocarcinoma was detected by immunohistochemistry staining and correlated with patients’ clinical outcomes. Our results showed that SFRP1 expression had different clinical applications in all types of human cancer. No detected alteration of SFPR1 gene and SFRP1 expression in ampullary adenocarcinoma was lower than that in other periampullary adenocarcinomas. However, high expression levels of SFRP1 protein were correlated with cancer recurrence, peritoneal carcinomatosis and poor patient prognosis. Gene set enrichment analysis showed downregulation of multiple WNT-related genes in primary culture cells from ampullary adenocarcinoma, but SFRP1 expression was increased. We found an interaction between WNT, bone morphogenetic protein and hedgehog signalling with SFRP1. Furthermore, a high expression of SFRP1 predicted poor prognosis for ampullary adenocarcinoma patients. Because it is a multifunctional protein, SFRP1 targeting serves as a potential therapy for ampullary adenocarcinoma patients.
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