Aims: LAMB3 and COL7A1 genes code for the laminin-5β3 chain and type VII collagen, respectively. They constitute the major components of the basement membrane zone. The aim of the current study was to clarify the clinical significance of LAMB3 and COL7A1 mRNA expression in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESC). Methods: We quantitated the expression of LAMB3 mRNA and COL7A1 mRNA in malignant esophageal tissues (T) and corresponding normal tissues (N) by real-time quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction assays. The clinicopathologic significance of LAMB3 and COL7A1 expression was also determined. Paired T and N tissues were obtained from 66 patients who underwent curative esophagectomy. Results: The expression levels of LAMB3 and COL7A1 mRNAs were higher in malignant tissues than in the corresponding normal tissues. The level of LAMB3 expression was significantly correlated with the depth of invasion and venous invasion (p = 0.007 and 0.001, respectively). COL7A1 expression was significantly correlated with depth of tumor invasion and lymphatic invasion (p = 0.046, 0.013, respectively). The five-year survival rate was better in the 22 patients with relatively low expression of both LAMB3 and COL7A1 in comparison with the other 44 cases (p < 0.05). Conclusion: The evaluation of LAMB3 and COL7A1 mRNA expression is useful for predicting the malignant properties of ESC and may prove valuable in predicting the future course of the disease.
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