Molecular targets and oxidative stress biomarkers in hepatocellular carcinoma: an overview

Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy.
Journal of Translational Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.99). 10/2011; 9:171. DOI: 10.1186/1479-5876-9-171
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a complex and heterogeneous tumor with multiple genetic aberrations. Several molecular pathways involved in the regulation of proliferation and cell death are implicated in the hepatocarcinogenesis. The major etiological factors for HCC are both hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus infection (HCV). Continuous oxidative stress, which results from the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by environmental factors or cellular mitochondrial dysfunction, has recently been associated with hepatocarcinogenesis. On the other hand, a distinctive pathological hallmark of HCC is a dramatic down-regulation of oxido-reductive enzymes that constitute the most important free radical scavenger systems represented by catalase, superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase. The multikinase inhibitor sorafenib represents the most promising target agent that has undergone extensive investigation up to phase III clinical trials in patients with advanced HCC. The combination with other target-based agents could potentiate the clinical benefits obtained by sorafenib alone. In fact, a phase II multicenter study has demonstrated that the combination between sorafenib and octreotide LAR (So.LAR protocol) was active and well tolerated in advanced HCC patients. The detection of molecular factors predictive of response to anti-cancer agents such as sorafenib and the identification of mechanisms of resistance to anti-cancer agents may probably represent the direction to improve the treatment of HCC.

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    ABSTRACT: Animal models, namely mice, have been used to study chemically induced carcinogenesis due to their similarity to the histological and genetic features of human patients. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a common malignancy with poor clinical outcome. The high incidence of HCC might be related to exposure to known risk factors, including carcinogenic compounds, such as N-nitrosamines, which cause DNA damage. N-nitrosamines affect cell mitochondrial metabolism, disturbing the balance between reactive oxygen species (ROS) and antioxidants, causing oxidative stress and DNA damage, potentially leading to carcinogenesis. This work addresses the progressive histological changes in the liver of N-diethylnitrosamine (DEN)-exposed mice and its correlation with oxidative stress. Male ICR mice were randomly divided into five DEN-exposed and five matched control groups. DEN was IP administered, once a week, for eight consecutive weeks. Samples were taken 18h after the last DEN injection (8 weeks post-exposure). The following sampling occurred at weeks 15th, 22nd, 29th and 36th after the first DEN injection. DEN resulted in early toxic lesions and, from week 29 onwards, in progressive proliferative lesions. Between 15 and 29 weeks, DEN-exposed animals showed significant changes in hepatic antioxidant (glutathione, glutathione reductase, and catalase) status (p<0.05) compared with controls. These results point to an association between increased DEN-induced oxidative stress and the early histopathological alterations, suggesting that DEN disrupted the antioxidant defense mechanism, thereby triggering liver carcinogenesis.
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    ABSTRACT: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection induces reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and has been associated with the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). ROS are also an important factor in HCC because the accumulated ROS leads to abnormal cell proliferation and chromosome mutation. In oxidative stress, heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) and glutathione (GSH) function as part of the defense mechanism. Hsp90 prevents cellular component from oxidative stress, and GSH acts as antioxidants scavenging ROS in the cell. However, it is not known whether molecules regulated by oxidative stress are involved in HBV capsid assembly. Based on the previous study that Hsp90 facilitates HBV capsid assembly, which is an important step for the packing of viral particles, here, we show that ROS enrich Hsp90-driven HBV capsid formation. In cell-free system, HBV capsid assembly was facilitated by ROS with Hsp90, whereas it was decreased without Hsp90. In addition, GSH inhibited the function of Hsp90 to decrease HBV capsid assembly. Consistent with the result of cell-free system, ROS and buthionine sulfoximine (BS), an inhibitor of GSH synthesis, increased HBV capsid formation in HepG2.2.15 cells. Thus, our study uncovers the interplay between ROS and Hsp90 during HBV capsid assembly. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
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    ABSTRACT: Amorphophallus campanulatus (Roxb.) Blume belonging to the family of Araceae, is a perennial herb commonly known as elephant foot yam. Its tuber has been traditionally used for the treatment of liver diseases, abdominal tumors, piles. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the dose-dependent cytotoxic and apoptosis inducing effects of the sub fractions of Amorphophallus campanulatus tuber methanolic extract (ACME) namely petroleum ether fraction (PEF), chloroform fraction (CHF), ethyl acetate fraction (EAF) and methanolic fraction (MeF) on human liver cancer cell line, PLC/PRF/5. Antiproliferative effects of the sub fractions of ACME were studied by MTT assay. Apoptotic activity was assessed by 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI), annexin V- fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) and 5,5',6,6' tetrachloro-1,1',3,3'-tetraethylbenzimidazolylcarbocyanine iodide (JC-1) fluorescent staining. The chemotherapeutic drug, 5-flurouracil (5-FU) was used as positive drug control. The sub fractions of ACME were found to produce considerable cytotoxicity in human liver cancer cell line, PLC/PRF/5. In addition, the extracts were found to induce apoptosis and were substantiated by DAPI, annexin V-FITC and JC-1 fluorescent staining. A pronounced results of cytotoxic and apoptotic activities were observed in the cells treated with 5-FU and CHF, whereas, EAF and MeF treated cells exhibited a moderate result and the least effect were observed in PEF treated cells. Furthermore, these findings confirm that the sub fractions of ACME dose-dependently suppress the proliferation of PLC/PRF/5 cells by inducing apoptosis.

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