Prognostic value of OCT4A and SPP1C transcript variant co-expression in early-stage lung adenocarcinoma

Seijiro Koshimune, Mitsuko Kosaka, Nobuhiko Mizuno, Hiromasa Yamamoto, Tomoyuki Miyamoto, Tomoyuki Miyamoto, Kohta Ebisui, Shinichi Toyooka, Aiji Ohtsuka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Octamer-binding transcription factor 4A (OCT4A) is essential for cell pluripotency and reprogramming both in humans and mice. To date, however, the function of human OCT4 in somatic and/or tumour tissues is largely unknown. Methods: RT-PCR was used to identify full-length splice forms of OCT4 transcripts in normal and cancer cells. A FLAG-tagged OCT4 genomic transgene was used to identify OCT4-positive cancer cells. A potential role for OCT4 in somatic cancer cells was examined by cell ablation of OCT4-positive cells using promoter-driven diphtheria toxin A. OCT4 and secreted phosphoprotein 1 (SPP1) transcripts in early-stage lung adenocarcinoma tumours were analysed and compared with pathohistological features. Results: The results show that, unlike in murine cells, OCT4A and OCT4B variants are transcribed in both human cancer cells and in adult tissues such as lung, kidney, uterus, breast, and eye. We found that OCT4A and SPP1C are co-expressed in highly aggressive human breast, endometrial, and lung adenocarcinoma cell lines, but not in mesothelial tumour cell lines. Ablation of OCT4-positive cells in lung adenocarcinoma cells significantly decreased cell migration and SPP1C mRNA levels. The OCT4A/SPP1C axis was found in primary, early-stage, lung adenocarcinoma tumours. Conclusions: Co-expression of OCT4 and SPP1 may correlate with cancer aggressiveness, and the OCT4A/SPP1C axis may help identify early-stage high-risk patients with lung adenocarcinoma. Contrary to the case in mice, our data strongly suggest a critical role for OCT4A and SPP1C in the development and progression of human epithelial cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number521
JournalBMC cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 5 2020


  • OCT4
  • SPP1
  • cancer stem cell
  • cell migration
  • lung adenocarcinoma
  • tumour-initiating cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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