Aggrus (T1α/podoplanin, known as a specific marker for type I alveolar cells or lymphatic endothelial cells) is a transmembrane sialoglycoprotein that aggregates platelets. Previously, we showed that upregulated expression of Aggrus occurs in colorectal tumors or testicular tumors and could be associated with platelet-aggregating activity and metastatic ability. In testicular tumors, Aggrus is specifically expressed in seminoma. The present study investigates Aggrus expression in human primary lung cancer tissues of different types. Microarray analysis demonstrated that aggrus was significantly expressed in squamous cell carcinoma (10/15; 66.7%). Immunohistochemical analysis also showed that the incidence of positive staining in sections of squamous cell carcinoma (7/8; 87.5%) was higher than that in adenocarcinoma (2/13; 15.4%). Furthermore, Aggrus expression was detected in a squamous cell carcinoma cell line, NCI-H226, by real-time PCR. These findings indicated that overexpression of Aggrus occurred in squamous cell carcinoma of the lung. Therefore, Aggrus could be a useful diagnostic marker for squamous cell carcinoma of the lung.

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