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The aim of this study was to evaluate the expression of beta-1,3-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase-3 (B3GNT3) in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients and to investigate the relevance of B3GNT3 expression in tumour prognosis.In this study, B3GNT3 expression was examined in five pairs of resectable NSCLC tissue by Western blot and in 42 pairs of resectable NSCLC tissue by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). Immunohistochemistry and statistical analysis were performed to assess the relationship between B3GNT3 expression scores and clinicopathological parameters, as well as clinical prognosis in a retrospective cohort of 176 NSCLC patients.Both B3GNT3 mRNA and protein expression levels were significantly higher in NSCLC tissue than in adjacent normal tissue. In the 176 NSCLC cases, a high B3GNT3 expression level was positively correlated with lymph node metastasis (P<0.001) and advanced TNM stage (P=0.043). Kaplan-Meier analysis indicated that patients with high B3GNT3 expression had significantly lower disease-free survival (DFS) (P<0.001) and overall survival (OS) (P<0.001) than those with low B3GNT3 expression. Moreover, in the multivariate analyses, B3GNT3 expression was an independent prognostic factor for DFS (HR 0.329, 95% CI 0.213 to 0.508, P<0.001) and OS (HR 0.383, 95% CI 0.249 to 0.588, P<0.001).Our study demonstrated that high expression of B3GNT3 was associated with unfavourable DFS and OS in NSCLC patients, suggesting that B3GNT3 might be a potential prognostic biomarker for NSCLC.