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Gastric cancer is a heterogeneous disease associated to deregulated gastric epithelia tight junction barrier function and di novo expression of claudin-6; these changes are associated with epithelial-mesenchymal transition, enhanced invasiveness, metastatic progression, resistance to chemotherapy, and poor prognosis. Gastric cancer stem cells represent a rare population of cells within the tumor implicated in tumor growth and higher tumorigenic capacity. The possible relation between claudin-6 expression and the expression of some markers associated to epithelial mesenchymal transition and cancer stem cells in gastric cancer cells have never been explored.CD44, CD24, Twist, Villin, DCLK1, claudin-6, NANOG, E-Cadherin, SOX2, and SNAI1 expression was evaluated by immunofluorescence and cytofluorometry in wild type and Claudin-6 transfected AGS cells. Cell migration assays were also performed. Differentially expressed genes and biological processes analysis was performed to determine gene preponderance. The results showed that claudin-6 overexpression enriched the CD44 + /CD24- subpopulation with an overall increase in the expression and the number of CD44 + cells. A significant increase in NANOG, SOX2 and SNAI1 expression and enhanced cell migration was observed in claudin-6 transfected cells. Transcriptome analysis revealed 271 genes involved in enhanced biological processes with only 31 with a significantly p value; thirteen of those genes are closely associated to epithelial mesenchymal transition processes and folding and unfolding processes of proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum.The pro-tumorigenic effect of claudin-6 in gastric cancer could be associated to dedifferentiation of epithelial cells and an increase in di novo cancer stem cell genesis.© 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.


Priscila Anhel Medrano-Gonzálezl, Franklin Cruz-Villegas, Alejandro Alarcón Del Carmen, Luis Felipe Montaño, Erika Patricia Rendón-Huerta. Claudin-6 increases SNAI1, NANOG and SOX2 gene expression in human gastric adenocarcinoma AGS cells. Molecular biology reports. 2022 Sep 28

PMID: 36169897

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