Objectives: The clinical significance of aquaporin-1 (AQP1), aquaporin-3 (AQP3), and aquaporin-5 (AQP5) expression was analyzed in a large number of patients with colon cancer. Methods: AQP1, AQP3, and AQP5 expression was investigated based on the immunohistochemistry of tissue microarray specimens from 486 colon cancer patients who underwent curative surgery. Scores were given to the staining intensity and percentage of positive cells, and the staining score was defined as the sum of these scores then used to categorize the AQP expression as negative, weakly AQP-positive, or strongly AQP-positive. Results: A total of 298 (61.3%) patients were identified as strongly AQP1-positive (staining score ≥6), while 38 (7.8%) were strongly AQP3-positive and 145 (29.8%) were strongly AQP5-positive. The overexpression of AQP1, AQP3, and AQP5 was significantly correlated with lymph node metastasis in a multivariate logistic analysis (AQP1, p = 0.026; AQP3, p = 0.023; AQP5, p = 0.003). While the multivariate survival analysis, which included age, histology, TNM stage, and CEA level showed that the expression of AQP1, AQP3, and AQP5 had no effect on the overall survival and disease-free survival. Conclusions: The current study found a significant correlation between AQP1, AQP3, and AQP5 expression and lymph node metastasis in patients with surgically resected colon cancer.

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