VNN1 overexpression is associated with poor response to preoperative chemoradiotherapy and adverse prognosis in patients with rectal cancers

Chi Yung Chai, Yimin Zhang, Junlong Song, Shih Chun Lin, Shengrong Sun, I. Wei Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Colorectal cancer is prevalent worldwide and it is also the fourth most common cause of cancer mortality. For rectal cancer, neoadjuvant concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) followed by radical proctectomy is gold standard treatment for patients with stage II/III rectal cancer. By data mining a public dataset of rectal cancer transcriptome (GSE35452) from Gene Expression Omnibus, National Cente rof Biotechnology Information (GEO, NCBI), we identified that VNN1 was the most significantly upregulated gene among those related to nitrogen compound metabolic process (GO:0006807). Therefore, we analyzed the clinicopathological correlation and prognostic impact of VNN1 protein (pantetheinase), which encoded by VNN1 gene. Methods: VNN1 immunostaining was performed in 172 rectal adenocarcinomas treated with preoperative CCRT followed by surgery, which were bisected into high- and low-expression subgroups. Furthermore, statistical analyses were performed to correlate the relationship between VNN1 immunoreactivity and clinicopathological features, as well as three survival indices: disease-specific survival (DSS), local recurrence-free survival (LRFS) and metastasis-free survival (MeFS). Results: High VNN1 immunoexpression was significantly associated with advanced pre-treatment and post-treatment disease and poor response to CCRT (all P ≤ .026). In addition, VNN1 overexpression was linked to adverse DSS, LRFS and MeFS in univariate analysis and served as an independent prognosticator indicating worse DSS and LRFS in multivariate analysis (all P ≤ .019). Conclusion: VNN1 may play a crucial role in rectal cancer progression and responsiveness to CCRT, and serve as a novel prognostic biomarker. Additional studies to clarify the molecular pathway are essential for developing potential VNN1-targeted therapies for rectal cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberAJTR0034652
Pages (from-to)4455-4463
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Translational Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 30 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • CCRT
  • Chemoradiotherapy
  • Pantetheinase
  • Rectal cancer
  • VNN1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cancer Research


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