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Lysyl oxidase activates cancer stromal cells and promotes gastric cancer progression: quantum dot-based identification of biomarkers in cancer stromal cells

Authors Peng CW, Liu JY, Yang GF, Li Y

Received 13 June 2017

Accepted for publication 8 September 2017

Published 27 December 2017 Volume 2018:13 Pages 161—174


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Lei Yang

Chunwei Peng,1 Jiuyang Liu,1 Guifang Yang,2 Yan Li3

1Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Hubei Key Laboratory of Tumor Biological Behaviors & Hubei Cancer Clinical Study Center, 2Department of Pathology, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuchang District, Wuhan, 3Department of Peritoneal Cancer Surgery, Cancer Center of Beijing Shijitan Hospital Affiliated to the Capital Medical University, Yangfangdian, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

Purpose: Semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) are a promising alternative to organic fluorescent dyes for multiplexed molecular imaging of cancer stroma, which have great advantages in holistically analyzing the complex interactions among cancer stromal components in situ.
Patients and methods: A QD probe-based multiplexed spectral molecular imaging method was established for simultaneous imaging. Three tissue microarrays (TMAs) including 184 gastric cancer (GC) tissues were constructed for the study. Multispectral analyses were performed for quantifying stromal biomarkers, such as lysyl oxidase (LOX). The stromal status including infiltrating of immune cells (high density of macrophages), angiogenesis (high density of microvessel density [MVD], low neovessel maturation) and extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling (low density of type IV collagen, intense expression of matrix metalloproteinase 9 [MMP-9]) was evaluated.
Results: This study compared the imaging features of the QD probe-based single molecular imaging method, immunohistochemistry, and organic dye-based immunofluorescent methods, and showed the advantages of the QD probe-based multiple molecular imaging method for simultaneously visualizing complex components of cancer stroma. The risk of macrophages in high density, high MVD, low neomicrovessel maturation, MMP-9 expression and low type IV collagen was significantly increased for the expression of LOX. With the advantages of the established QD probe-based multiplexed molecular imaging method, the spatial relationship between LOX and stromal essential events could be simultaneously evaluated histologically. Stromal activation was defined and then evaluated. Survival analysis showed that the stromal activation was correlated with overall survival and disease-free survival (P<0.001 for all). The expression of LOX was significantly increased in the intense activation subgroup (P<0.001).
Conclusion: Quantifying assessment of the stroma indicates that the LOX may be a stromal marker for GC and stromal activation, which is not only responsible for the ECM remodeling morphologically, but also for the formation of invasive properties and recurrence. These results support the possibility to integrate morphological and molecular biomarker information for cancer research by the biomedical application of QDs.

Keywords: nanomedicine, cancer stromal, gastric cancer, multiplexed molecular imaging

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