Background/Aim: Peritoneal dissemination (PD) occurs frequently in gastric cancer (GC) and is fatal. The interactions between tumor cells and stromal cells are critical for cancer progression. Our aim was to identify a novel PD-associated gene derived from stromal cells in GC. Materials and Methods: Among the candidate PD-associated genes identified in our previous study, we focused on spondin-2 (SPON2), an extracellular matrix-secreted protein. Clinicopathological and prognostic analyses of SPON2 mRNA expression were performed using GC datasets. Localization of SPON2 expression was assessed by immunohistochemistry. In vitro migration assay and immunofluorescence staining were also conducted using GC cell lines. Results: SPON2 was expressed in and secreted from cancer-associated fibroblasts in GC. High expression of SPON2 in tumor tissues was correlated with PD, tumor size and poor prognosis in GC. The motility of GC cells was increased by treatment with a SPON2 recombinant protein in vitro. Conclusion: Cancer-associated fibroblast-derived SPON2 may promote PD, in part, by facilitating GC cell motility and serve as a predictive marker for PD in GC.
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