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Solute carrier organic anion transporter family member 4A1 (SLCO4A1) as a prognosis marker of colorectal cancer

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Solute carrier organic anion transporter family member 4A1 (SLCO4A1) is involved in the transport of various compounds, including sugars, bile salts, organic acids, metal ions, amine compounds, and estrogen. SLCO4A1 is highly expressed in several cancers and a gender bias has been observed in colorectal cancer (CRC). We investigated SLCO4A1 expression, its prognostic value in patients with CRC, and its role in CRC cell proliferation and metastasis.


SLCO4A1 expression was assessed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) on specimens from 84 patients with CRC. The association of SLCO4A1 expression with clinicopathological features was examined. To confirm the biological role of SLCO4A1 in CRC, four CRC cell lines expressing SLCO4A1 were used and SLCO4A1 expression was knocked down by siRNA. Cell proliferation, MTT, migration, invasion, and semisolid agar colony formation assays were performed.


SLCO4A1 was overexpressed in 32% of the CRC samples. SLCO4A1 overexpression and pathologic T stage were independent prognostic factors of decreased survival (P = 0.021). Kaplan–Meier analysis indicated a decreased cumulative survival for patients highly expressing SLCO4A1 compared to patients showing low SLCO4A1 expression (Log-rank test, P = 0.025). In cell lines, SLCO4A1 knockdown resulted in a significant decrease of viability, invasion, and migration when compared to control cells. Semisolid colony formation assay indicated that SLCO4A1-knocked down cells presented poor carcinogenic abilities compared to control cells.


SLCO4A1 may be a valuable marker of poor prognostic for CRC. Furthermore, SLCO4A1 plays an important role in CRC cell proliferation, migration, invasion, and carcinogenesis.

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This study was supported by the Soonchunhyang University Research Fund.

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Correspondence to Moo-Jun Baek or Dongjun Jeong.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Additional information

M. J. Ban and S. H. Ji contributed equally to this study.

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Ban, M.J., Ji, S.H., Lee, C. et al. Solute carrier organic anion transporter family member 4A1 (SLCO4A1) as a prognosis marker of colorectal cancer. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 143, 1437–1447 (2017).

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  • Colorectal cancer
  • Solute carrier organic anion transporter family member 4A1
  • Prognostic value
  • Cell proliferation
  • Metastasis