Background: Cysteine/histidine-rich 1 (CYHR1) was first discovered in a yeast two-hybrid screen with murine galectin-3, and no previous reports have described a relationship between the CYHR1 gene and human cancer. The current study evaluated the role and significance of CYHR1 in esophageal cancer. Methods: The human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) cell line TE-8 and the CYHR1 knock-down cell line TE-8/small interfering (si)-CYHR1 were used for in vitro and in vivo assays. For clinical study, ESCC tissues (n = 104) were used. Results: Compared with parental cells, TE-8/si-CYHR1 cells had suppressed proliferation and invasion activities. In the in vivo assay, the tumors from TE-8 cells treated with si-CYHR1 had abrogated tumorigenicity. In the clinical study, the expression of CYHR1 mRNA was associated with lymph node metastasis and stage and shown to be an independent prognostic factor. Conclusions: As the findings show, CYHR1 may represent not only a valuable prognostic marker but also a therapeutic target for ESCC patients.
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