[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The β-catenin gene is frequently mutated in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and has long been thought to be one of the major oncogenes involved in the hepatocarcinogenesis. The prognostic role of β-catenin mutation in HCC remains unclear. To address this issue, a search for relevant studies was performed in the PubMed, Embase and Web of Science databases. The pooled effect was calculated from the available data to evaluate the correlation of β-catenin mutation with overall survival rate and tumor clinicopathological features in patients with HCC. The pooled odds ratio (OR) was calculated using the Mantel-Haenszel model for fixed effects. Three studies met the inclusion criteria. A total of 618 cases were included, and β-catenin mutation was identified in 104 of them. The meta-analysis revealed that the presence of β-catenin mutation (n=104), compared with the control group (n=514), was correlated with a longer overall survival rate [OR, 0.33; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.21-0.53; P<0.00001] in patients with HCC. No significant heterogeneity was found among the eligible studies (I(2)=0%; P=0.72). β-catenin mutation was correlated with a relatively lower rate of hepatitis B virus infection (OR, 0.36; 95% CI, 0.21-0.61; P=0.0002), improved tumor differentiation (OR, 0.32; 95% CI, 0.19-0.56; P<0.0001) and a lower tumor-node-metastasis stage (I+II) (OR, 0.23; 95% CI, 0.14-0.38; P<0.00001). These findings suggest that β-catenin mutation may predict a favorable prognosis in patients with HCC.
Molecular and Clinical Oncology 07/2015; 3(4):936-940. DOI:10.3892/mco.2015.569
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Unlabelled:
MicroRNA (miR)-26a can suppress tumor growth and metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Since angiogenesis is important for tumor growth and metastasis, we investigated the possible roles of miR-26a in tumor angiogenesis. Down-regulation of miR-26a was found to correlate with an increased angiogenic potential of HCC. Through gain- and loss-of-function studies, miR-26a was demonstrated to significantly inhibit vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) expression in HCC cells and then suppress the promoting effects of HCC cells on in vitro proliferation, migration, and capillary tube formation of endothelial cells, as well as in vivo tumor angiogenesis of HCC. Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) was identified as a target of miR-26a. HGF simulation antagonized the effects induced by miR-26a up-regulation. In contrast, silencing HGF induced similar effects to miR-26a. We further found that miR-26a exerted its antiangiogenesis function, at least in part, by inhibiting HGF-hepatocyte growth factor receptor (cMet) and its downstream signaling pathway, in turn, suppressing VEGFA production in HCC cells and impairing VEGFR2-signaling in endothelial cells. HCC patients who had high miR-26a, low HGF, low VEGFA, or low microvessel density (MVD) in tumor tissues had a better prognosis with longer overall survival (OS) and time to recurrence (TTR). In multivariate analysis, miR-26a, or in combination with HGF, was demonstrated to be an independent prognostic indicator for OS and TTR of HCC patients.
miR-26a could suppress tumor angiogenesis of HCC through HGF-cMet signaling, and it is a new hopeful therapeutic target and prognostic marker for HCC.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously reported that the intronic tagSNP +357G/C in the metastasis suppressor HTPAP is associated with metastasis and prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The aim of this study was to investigate whether SNPs in the HTPAP promoter modulate HTPAP expression and prognosis of HCC. Genomic DNA from 572 microdissected HCCs were genotyped by pyrosequencing and verified by direct sequencing. Haplotype blocks were analyzed. Reporter plasmids were constructed and transfected into HCC cell lines. Transcriptional activities of plasmids were analyzed by dual-luciferase reporter systems. HTPAP expression was measured by real-time quantitative PCR, western blots, and tissue microarrays. Invasion was assessed by Matrigel assays. The prognostic values of HTPAP promoter SNPs in HCC were evaluated by Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analyses. We identified six SNPs, including -1053A/G and +64G/C, in the HTPAP promoter. The SNPs were in complete linkage disequilibrium, resulting in three promoter haplotypes (promoter I:-1053AA/+64GG, promoter II: -1053AG/+64GC, and promoter III: -1053GG/+64CC). Promoter I manifested the highest luciferase index (p<0.005). However, no significant difference was observed between promoters II and III. We consistently found that HTPAP mRNA and protein levels were significantly higher in promoter I than that of promoter II+III (p<0.001). Invasion was increased in HCC cells transfected with promoters II+III compared to those transfected with promoter I (p<0.05). The HTPAP promoter II+III haplotype was associated with significantly increased metastasis compared to that of promoter I (p = 0.023). The postoperative five-year overall survival of patients with promoters II+III was lower than that of patients with promoter I (p = 0.006). Multivariate analysis showed that the promoter II+III haplotype was an adverse prognostic marker in HCC. The genetic variants at loci -1053 and +64 of the HTPAP promoter affect the expression of HTPAP, which might be a novel determinant and target for HCC prognosis.
PLoS ONE 03/2014; 9(3):e90528. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0090528 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Osteopontin (OPN) may facilitate tumorigenesis and metastasis through prevention of tumor cells from apoptosis. Although previous studies have suggested involvement of enhanced Bcl-2 protein family expression, the role of OPN together with Bcl-2 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains unknown. In this study, we used western blotting to detect the OPN and Bcl-2 expression levels in cell lines with different OPN backgrounds and HCC tissues, and tumor tissue microarrays to examine OPN and Bcl-2 expression levels in 454 HCC cases. The Kaplan-Meier method and log-rank test were applied to investigate the predictive values of OPN and Bcl-2 in HCC patients. In vitro assays indicated that OPN expression increased concordantly with increasing metastatic potential in MHCC97-H, MHCC97-L, HepG2 and SMMC-7721 cell lines by western blotting, whereas Bcl-2 expression declined. In addition, Bcl-2 was highly upregulated in OPN knockdown MHCC97-H cell lines. Furthermore, in HCC tissues, it was confirmed that OPN levels were also significantly higher in recurrent tumor tissues compared to non-recurrent tissues by western blotting (p<0.001), whereas the contrary occurred in Bcl-2 (p=0.046). Using immunohistochemistry analysis, patients with higher OPN levels had significantly shorter median survival time and recurrence time compared to the lower ones, although the opposite occurred in Bcl-2 levels. Of note, when OPN and Bcl-2 were combined, we found that the co-index of OPN/Bcl-2 was an independent prognostic factor for both overall survival (p<0.001) and time to recurrence (p<0.001). Our findings demonstrate that OPN/Bcl-2 expression is a promising independent predictor of recurrence and survival in HCC. Additionally, Bcl-2 levels may be regulated by OPN in the HCC microenvironment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Unlabelled:
Down-regulation of microRNA-26a (miR-26a) is associated with poor prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), but its functional mechanism in HCC remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the roles of miR-26a in tumor growth and metastasis of HCC and found that miR-26a was frequently down-regulated in HCC tissues. Down-regulation of miR-26a correlated with HCC recurrence and metastasis. Through gain- and loss-of-function studies, miR-26a was demonstrated to significantly inhibit in vitro cell proliferation, migration, and invasion. In addition, miR-26a induced G1 arrest and promoted apoptosis of HCC cells. Importantly, miR-26a suppressed in vivo tumor growth and metastasis in nude mice models bearing human HCC. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) was identified as a target of miR-26a. Knockdown of IL-6 induced effects on HCC cells similar to those induced by miR-26a. In contrast, IL-6 treatment abrogated the effects induced by miR-26a up-regulation. Moreover, miR-26a dramatically suppressed expression of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (Stat3) target genes, including Bcl-2, Mcl-1, cyclin D1, and MMP2. IL-6 treatment antagonized this effect, while knockdown of IL-6 by IL-6 short hairpin RNA (shIL-6) induced inhibitory effects on the expression of p-Stat3 and its main target genes, similar to miR-26a. The messenger RNA and protein levels of IL-6 inversely correlated with miR-26a in HCCs. Patients with high miR-26a or low IL-6 in HCC tissues had a better prognosis with longer overall survival (OS) and time to recurrence (TTR). In multivariate analysis, miR-26a, IL-6, and their combination were demonstrated to be independent prognostic indicators for OS and TTR of HCC patients.
miR-26a could suppress tumor growth and metastasis of HCC through IL-6-Stat3 signaling and is a novel prognostic marker and therapeutic target for HCC.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose:
To evaluate the value of serum midkine (MDK) as a diagnostic biomarker in hepatocellular carcinoma, particularly for those with negative alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and at an early stage.
MDK expression in tumors was assessed by immunohistochemistry from 105 patients with hepatocellular carcinomas or liver cirrhosis. Serum MDK levels were detected by ELISA in 933 participants including hepatocellular carcinomas and hospital controls from different medical centers. Sensitivities and specificities of serum MDK in diagnosing hepatocellular carcinoma according to AFP level and Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stage were analyzed.
MDK levels were significantly elevated in hepatocellular carcinoma tissues as well as serum samples. The sensitivity of serum MDK for hepatocellular carcinoma diagnosis was much higher than that of AFP (86.9% vs. 51.9%) with similar specificities (83.9% vs. 86.3%). Notably, serum MDK had an outstanding performance in distinguishing AFP-negative hepatocellular carcinomas from different controls: In those AFP-negative hepatocellular carcinomas, the sensitivity could reach as high as 89.2%. Moreover, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis also showed that serum MDK had a better performance compared with AFP in distinguishing early-stage hepatocellular carcinomas as well as small hepatocellular carcinomas. Even in very early-stage hepatocellular carcinomas, MDK showed an obviously higher sensitivity compared with AFP (80% vs. 40%). Furthermore, serum MDK level was significantly decreased in patients with hepatocellular carcinomas after curative resection and re-elevated when tumor relapse occurred.
Serum MDK is significantly elevated in most hepatocellular carcinomas, including those with negative AFP and at an early stage, which may serve as a novel diagnostic marker in early diagnosis and postoperative monitoring of hepatocellular carcinomas.
Clinical Cancer Research 05/2013; 19(14). DOI:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-12-3363 · 8.72 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Unlabelled:
Osteopontin (OPN) plays a crucial role in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) metastasis. However, little is known about the impact of OPN polymorphisms on cancer progression. In this study, we first identified the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the OPN promoter region by direct sequencing in 30 HCCs, and then evaluated the prognostic values of the selected ones in two large cohorts of 826 HCC patients. The identified SNPs were functionally analyzed using in vitro and in vivo assays and their correlations with OPN levels were also evaluated. Only SNP at locus -443 and their related haplotypes (Ht2: -1748A/-616G/-443T/-155* [*indicates base deletion]; Ht3: -1748A/-616G/-443C/-155*) were significantly associated with overall survival (OS) and time to recurrence (TTR). The patients with the -443TT/TC genotype or Ht2 had a shorter OS and TTR compared with those with -443CC genotype or Ht3. This was further confirmed in the validation cohort. Moreover, this correlation remained significant in patients with small HCCs (≤5 cm). Multivariate analyses indicated that the prognostic performance of the -443 genotypes (OS, P=0.031; TTR, P=0.005) and their related haplotypes (OS, P=0.002; TTR, P=0.001) was independent of other clinicopathological factors. The Ht2 and -443TT genotype could significantly increase the promoter transcriptional activity and expression level of OPN compared with the Ht3 or -443CC genotype, and lead to an obvious increase in both in vitro invasion and in vivo tumor growth and lung metastasis of HCC cells (P<0.05).
The genetic variation at locus -443 of the OPN promoter plays important roles in the regulation of OPN expression and cancer progression of HCCs, which is a novel determinant and target for HCC metastasis and prognosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can have an effect on the growth and metastasis of human malignancies, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC); however, their mechanisms of action are not yet fully understood. The cell fusion of stem cell derived from bone marrow with other cells has been increasingly emphasized. The purpose of this study was to investigate the distribution of MSCs in mouse models of HCC, as well as the cell fusion between MSCs and HCC cells. We labeled HCC cells and MSCs with green fluorescence protein (GFP), red fluorescence protein (RFP), 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) and 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU). We found that MSCs fused with HCC cells at a low frequency in vitro. MSCs were found to be merged into HCC tissues after intravenous injection, and compared with the mice not injected with MSCs, the MSCs were mainly distributed in the tumor stroma; Following the injection of the MSCs, the tumor stroma was found to have expanded in size, and the rate of pulmonary metastasis in the MSC-injected group was significantly lower (20%) compared to that in the group not injected with MSCs (100%, P=0.01). These data suggest that cell fusion between MSCs and HCC after engraftment is not one of the main mechanisms of action of the MSCs, while stromal differentiation is a major mechanism of action of the MSCs, leading to the inhibition of the pulmonary metastasis of HCC.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Presurgery serum osteopontin (OPN) level has been demonstrated to correlate to tumor recurrence and survival of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients. This study investigated the postoperative dynamic changes of serum OPN level and its clinical significance in HCC patients.
Presurgery serum OPN levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in cohort A of 179 HCC patients and were compared with the multiple controls including different kinds of liver diseases and healthy individuals. In cohort B of 110 patients with resectable HCCs, besides preoperative assays, serum OPN was monitored at 1 week, 1, and ≥2 months after operation.
The baseline presurgery serum OPN of HCC patients was significantly higher than that of the patients with the other kinds of liver diseases (p < 0.0001). The prognostic values of presurgery serum OPN level in HCC patients were further confirmed. The postsurgery OPN levels were significantly elevated within 1 week after HCC resection, then decreased at 1 month and reached the nadir later than 2 months after operations. It increased again at the time of tumor recurrence, then declined after the second removal of recurrent HCCs. Moreover, postoperative OPN in α-fetoprotein-negative and -positive HCC patients had the same changing pattern; it only correlated to liver function and C-reactive protein level.
After a transient fluctuation, serum OPN levels significantly decrease after curative resection of HCCs. Postoperative serum OPN could serve as a surrogate serologic biomarker for monitoring treatment response and tumor recurrence after HCC resection, including α-fetoprotein-negative ones.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Recent studies indicate that Transforming Growth Factor beta (TGF β) correlated with pulmonary metastasis of cancers. However, the correlation between TGF β and pulmonary metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is till unknown.
We detected the in vitro and in vivo expression levels of TGF β1/Smads by Real-time PCR and Western blot in MHCC97-H and MHCC97–L cell lines, which are HCC cell lines and have higher and lower pulmonary metastatic potential respectively.
TGF β1 mRNA level in MHCC97-L tumors were higher than that in MHCC97-H tumors, (2.81±1.61 vs. 1.24±0.96, P=0.002), TGF β1 protein level in MHCC97-L tumors were also higher than that in MHCC97-H tumors (1.37±0.95 vs. 0.32±0.22, P<0.001). In addition, the TGF β1 mRNA level positively correlated with pulmonary metastasis, and the relations between TGF β1 and Smads were also found (R2=0.12 and 0.40, respectively).
Our results suggest that TGF β/ Smads promote pulmonary metastasis of HCC.
Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 11/2012; 31(1):93. DOI:10.1186/1756-9966-31-93 · 4.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the present study, we constructed a lentivirus vector encoding the miR-29a precursor and established two stably infected cell lines, PLC-29a and 97L-29a. The overexpression of miR-29a was confirmed by TaqMan RT-PCR and significantly suppressed the growth of the hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines MHCC-97L and PLC. Dual-luciferase reporter assays indicated that the SPARC mRNA 3'UTR was directly targeted by miR-29a since the mutated 3'UTR was not affected. Silencing SPARC expression by RNAi knockdown resulted in a similar effect as miR-29a overexpression on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell growth regulation. Anti-miR-29a oligonucleotides (AMOs) upregulated the levels of SPARC in the HCC cells. The phosphorylation of AKT/mTOR downstream of SPARC was inhibited in miR-29a-overexpressing HCC cells. We further examined and compared the expression levels of miR-29a in HCC tissues and the corresponding nearby non-cancerous liver tissues of 110 patients with HCC by qRT-PCR, and significantly lower expression of miR-29a was observed in the tissues affected by HCC. Our findings demonstrate that the expression of miR-29a is important in the regulation of the SPARC-AKT pathway and HCC growth.
International Journal of Molecular Medicine 09/2012; 30(6). DOI:10.3892/ijmm.2012.1140 · 2.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is still difficult to predict the probability of tumor recurrence after resection of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In this study, we set out to identify specific microRNA (miRNA) in microdissected hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related HCC tissue from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples which might be used in predicting early recurrence after HCC resection. Taqman low density arrays were used to detect the 667 miRNA profiles in both the microdissected tumorous and adjacent non-tumorous liver tissues from 20 HCC patients (discovery set) including 10 patients with early tumor recurrence and 10 without early tumor recurrence and to identify the differentially expressed miRNAs related to HCC recurrence. Then quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) was used to verify the findings in 106 patients (training set), and to develop a predictive assay. The identified miRNAs were further validated in an independent cohort of 112 patients (validation set). Thirty seven miRNAs were identified from 20 HCC patients and validated in 106 HCC patients using qRT-PCR. A significant association was found between miR-29a-5p level in HCC tissues and early tumor recurrence (P = 0.0002). This association was further confirmed in the independent validation set of 112 patients (P = 0.0154). MiR-29a-5p level was significantly associated with both time to tumor recurrence (TTR) (P = 0.0015) and overall survival (OS) (P = 0.0079) in validation set. In the multivariate analyses, miR-29a-5p was identified as an independent factor for TTR, particularly for those patients with early stage of HCC. The sensitivity and specificity of miR-29a-5p for the prediction of early HCC recurrence of BCLC 0/A stage HCC were 74.2% and 68.2%, respectively. These suggest that miR-29a-5p might be a useful marker for the prediction of early tumor recurrence after HCC resection, especially in BCLC 0/A stage HCCs.
PLoS ONE 06/2012; 7(12):e52393. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0052393 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the anti-cancer effects of p21WAF1/CIP1 transcriptional activation induced by dsRNAs in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell lines.
HCC cell lines BEL7402, SMMC-7721, MHCC97L, MHCC97H, and MHCCLM3 were used. HCC cells were treated with dsP21-322 (50 nmol/L), dsControl (50 nmol/L), siP21 (50 nmol/L), or mock transfection. The expression of p21 was detected using quantitative PCR and Western blot. The effects of RNA activation on HCC cells were determined using cell viability assays, apoptosis analyses and clonogenic survival assays. Western blot was also conducted to detect the expression of Bcl-xL, survivin, cleaved caspase-3, cleaved caspase-9 and cleaved PARP.
At 72 to 120 h following the transfection, dsP21-322 markedly inhibited the viability of HCC cells and clone formation. At the same times, dsP21-322 caused a significant increase in HCC cell apoptosis, as demonstrated with cytometric analysis. The phenomena were correlated with decreased expression levels of the anti-apoptotic proteins Bcl-xL, surviving, and increased expression of cleaved caspase-3, cleaved caspase-9 and cleaved PARP.
RNA-induced activation of p21 gene expression may have significant therapeutic potential for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma and other cancers.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) were found to exist in serum/plasma in a highly stable, cell-free form, and aberrantly expressed in many human diseases. Currently, the expression levels of circulating miRNAs are estimated by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. However, no study has systematically evaluated reference genes for evaluating circulating microRNA expression. This study describes the identification and characterization of an appropriate reference gene for the normalization of circulating miRNA levels in hepatitis B virus (HBV)-infected patients and healthy people. Ten miRNAs that resemble the mean expression of the TaqMan low density array together with U6, RNU6B, and miR-16 were validated with two algorithms, geNorm, and NormFinder, after ensuring their equivalent expression between the two study groups. The combination of miR-26a, miR-221, and miR-22* is recommended as the most stable set of reference genes for circulating miRNA evaluation in HBV patients and healthy people.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The phosphatidic acid phosphatase HTPAP has been defined as a metastatic suppressor of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), but little is known about its function or potential applications as a prognostic marker. In this study, we analyzed patterns of HTPAP genetic variation and gene expression in 864 patients who underwent HCC resection, assessing these patterns for correlations to tumor metastasis potential. Focusing on two tagSNPs that were selected (+357G/C and +1838A/G), we found that only the +357G/C genotype was significantly associated with HTPAP mRNA and protein expression levels and the probability of metastasis. In an independent cohort of 665 HCC patients, we determined that the +357G/C genotype was associated with shorter time to recurrence and overall survival. Together, these results indicated that the HTPAP tagSNP +357 GG+GC genotypes may influence HCC metastatic potential and clinical prognosis by down-regulating HTPAP expression. Extending these results, a global expression profiling analysis identified 41 genes including the pro-inflammatory genes IL-8 and TLR2 that were significantly overexpressed in the +357 GG+GC group, as possible coregulated markers with HTPAP. Together, our findings identify an HTPAP genotype and associated gene expression pattern that favors metastasis progression and that could be used to predict tumor metastasis and prognosis in HCC patients.
Cancer Research 05/2011; 71(9):3278-86. DOI:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-3100 · 9.33 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the relationship between PAR1 (Protease-Activated Receptor 1) expression and the clinicopathologic features and to investigate the prognostic value of PAR1 expression in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in early stage after curative resection.
Real-time PCR was used to detect PAR1 expression in 41 pairs of tumors and matched peritumoral samples of HCC in early stage. Prognostic value of PAR1 mRNA expression was evaluated. Meanwhile, another 49 tissue paraffin slices of HCC were tested using immunohistochemistry (Envision) and the prognostic value of PAR1 expression and other clinicopathologic factors were evaluated.
Peritumoral PAR1 mRNA expression was significantly increased in HCCs from the patients with tumor recurrence as compared with those without recurrence (P < 0.05). Peritumoral PAR1 protein expression was related to tumor differentiation (P < 0.05). Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that Peritumoral PAR1 protein expression was associated with the overall survival (OS) (P < 0.05) of HCC patients and the time to recurrence (TTR) (P < 0.05). The 1, 3 and 5 -year overall survival time and the cumulative recurrence time in the high PAR1 protein expression group were significantly lower as compared to the low PAR1 expression group in the peritumoral liver tissue.
Peritumoral PAR1 expression is closely associated with the prognosis of early stage HCC patients after curable surgery. PAR1 may be involved in thrombin-mediated invasion process and may be used as a prognostic marker for HCC.
Zhonghua gan zang bing za zhi = Zhonghua ganzangbing zazhi = Chinese journal of hepatology 04/2011; 19(4):266-70.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Our previous study has identified HTPAP as a novel metastasis suppressor from chromosome 8p which is often deleted in metastatic HCC. We sought to further evaluate the expression levels of transcript variants of HTPAP (HTPAP-1, HTPAP-2 and HTPAP-3) in 67 HCC tumor tissues and 11 normal liver tissues by RT-PCR with specific TaqMan probes and primer sets, and explore their association with HCC metastasis and survival. We found that the expression levels of three HTPAP transcript variants were quite different in HCCs. Only HTPAP-1 was found to be significantly associated with HCC metastasis (P=0.00053), overall survival (P=0.0023) and time to recurrence (P=0.010) of HCC. Patients with a lower expression of HTPAP-1 were inclined to accompany intrahepatic metastases and tumor thrombi (P<0.05) and had a poor prognosis. In vitro, three fusion pEGFP-N1 vectors encoding HTPAP-1, HTPAP-2 and HTPAP-3 were introduced into HCC cells respectively to track HTPAPs' expressions and identify their function. We found overexpression of HTPAP-1 conferred HCC cells reduced ability of invasion without significant impact on cell proliferation, and also displayed a distinct cell location on cell membrane and in cytoplasm, which were different from two other variants. Consequently, HTPAP-1 may be the transcript of HTPAP to exhibit a suppressive role on HCC metastasis, and can be a prognostic marker for HCC.
Cancer Science 03/2011; 102(3):583-90. DOI:10.1111/j.1349-7006.2011.01863.x · 3.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously identified osteopontin (OPN) as a promoter and thus a potential therapeutic target for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) metastasis. The serine protease thrombin interacts with OPN and can modify its biological activity. To explore the role of thrombin alone or in conjunction with OPN in HCC, we studied the correlation of thrombin levels to HCC prognosis in patients with various OPN levels, and evaluated the effects of OPN fragments generated by thrombin cleavage on proliferation and adhesion of HCC cells. We found that the thrombin level was strongly associated with the metastatic potential of HCC cell lines, and that thrombin was remarkably overexpressed in HCC tissue compared with adjacent nontumor tissue. In addition, HCC tissue from patients with recurrent disease displayed much higher thrombin levels, particularly in those with elevated OPN levels. Only HCCs with elevated OPN levels had a significant correlation between high thrombin levels and overall survival (OS; P < 0.01), or time to recurrence (TTR; P < 0.0001) of HCC. Multivariate analysis revealed that thrombin was an independent prognostic indicator. In vitro assays demonstrated that thrombin promotes the proliferation and adhesion of OPN+ HCC cells. Furthermore, thrombin activated the focal adhesion kinase (FAK) pathway of OPN+ HCC cells, which was blocked by the inhibition of integrin β1. Conclusion: Thrombin plays an important role in OPN-mediated aggressive phenotype of HCC through activation of integrin β1-FAK signaling, and is an independent poor prognostic factor for HCC. Thus, thrombin may be a potential therapeutic target to inhibit HCC metastasis in OPN+ patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effects of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) on the growth and metastasis of human malignancies including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are controversial, and the underlying mechanisms are not yet understood. The aim of this study was to explore the role of MSC in the progression of HCC. We investigated the effect of MSC on in vitro proliferation and invasion and in vivo tumor growth and pulmonary metastasis of MHCC97-H HCC cells with a high metastatic potential. The mRNA and protein levels of transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGFβ1) and MMP, and their association with the effects of MSC on HCC cells were also evaluated. Co-culture of MHCC97-H cells with MSC conditioned medium significantly enhanced in vitro proliferation but inhibited invasiveness. Following MSC treatment of a nude mouse model bearing human HCC, the MSC were predominantly located in the HCC tissues. Compared with controls, MSC-treated mice exhibited significantly larger tumors (3080.51 ± 1234.78 mm(3) vs 2223.75 ± 1000.60 mm(3), P = 0.045), but decreased cellular numbers of lung metastases (49.75 ± 18.86 vs 227.22 ± 74.67, P = 0.046). Expression of TGFβ1 and MMP-2 was significantly downregulated in the MSC-treated HCC cells. TGFβ siRNA concurrently downregulated expression of TGFβ and MMP-2 in HCC cells and blocked the MSC-induced proliferation and invasiveness of MHCC97-H cells. The MSC enhanced tumor growth but significantly inhibited the invasiveness and metastasis of HCC, possibly through downregulation of TGFβ1. These findings suggest that MSC could be useful in controlling metastatic recurrence of HCC.
Cancer Science 09/2010; 101(12):2546-53. DOI:10.1111/j.1349-7006.2010.01738.x · 3.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Osteopontin (OPN) plays an important role in the development, invasion, and metastasis of malignancies. Recently, several studies have reported that OPN enhances chemoresistance in small-cell lung cancer and breast cancer by blocking caspase-9 and caspase-3-dependent cell apoptosis. The aim of this study was to assess the value of OPN and caspase-3 for predicting tumor recurrence after curative resection in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients. We found that OPN expression increased concordantly with increasing metastatic potential in human HCC cell lines, whereas caspase-3 expression declined. In a tumor tissue microarray immunohistochemical analysis, we found that patients with higher levels of OPN and lower levels of caspase-3 had a significantly poorer prognosis than patients with lower OPN and higher caspase-3 levels. The combination of OPN and caspase-3 expression thus served as an effective prognosticator. These findings suggest that OPN alone or in combination with caspase-3 may act as an independent indicator for HCC patients after curative resection.
Cancer Science 02/2010; 101(5):1314-9. DOI:10.1111/j.1349-7006.2010.01524.x · 3.52 Impact Factor