ABSTRACT: YKL-40 is a new biomarker with diagnostic value in many different cancers. Whether it may serve as a biomarker for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is still unclear. This study aimed to examine the expression of YKL-40 in the serum and liver tissues of HCC patients and in HCC cell lines, in comparison with that in non-HCC liver disease patients and non-tumor hepatic cell lines, respectively.
Immunohistochemical staining was used to detect YKL-40 protein expression in liver biopsy specimens from 8 HCC patients. ELISA was used to assess the serum YKL-40 level in 90 HCC patients, 90 inactive HBsAg carrier (IHC) patients with normal liver functions, and 90 liver cirrhosis patients. Real-time PCR was used to determine the YKL-40 mRNA expression in three HCC cell lines and two non-tumor hepatic cell lines.
Immunohistochemical staining of liver biopsy specimens from HCC patients showed that the YKL-40 protein expression in tumor tissue was higher than that in adjacent normal tissues. ELISA revealed that the YKL-40 serum level in the HCC group was significantly higher than that in the IHC group, but not significantly different from that in the cirrhosis group. Real-time PCR showed that YKL-40 mRNA levels in HCC cell lines were significantly higher than those in non-tumor hepatic cells.
YKL-40 is highly expressed in HCC at the molecular, cellular and tissue levels. However, it may not serve as a serum biomarker for HCC because measurement of the serum YKL-40 level cannot distinguish HCC from cirrhosis.
Hepatobiliary & pancreatic diseases international: HBPD INT 12/2011; 10(6):605-10. · 1.08 Impact Factor