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[en] Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the third most common cause of cancer mortality worldwide. Although most HCCs seem to originate from the accumulation of genetic abnormalities induced by various risk factors, underlying mechanisms of hepatocarcinogenesis remain unclear. Long-term survival of HCC patients is also poor, partly due to HCC recurrence. Although serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) level is a useful marker for the detection and monitoring of HCC, AFP levels may remain normal in the patients even with advanced HCC. To identify useful biomarkers for HCC, many studies have been conducted on molecular events such as genetic and epigenetic alterations, and gene expression. This review summarizes recent studies of potential molecular markers for diagnosis and monitoring metastasis or recurrence of HCC
[en] Platelets are frequently altered in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients. Platelet lysates (hPL) can enhance HCC cell growth and decrease apoptosis. The aims were to evaluate whether hPL can modulate the actions of Sorafenib or Regorafenib, two clinical HCC multikinase antagonists. Several human HCC cell lines were grown in the presence and absence of Sorafenib or Regorafenib, with or without hPL. Growth was measured by MTT assay, apoptosis was assessed by Annexin V and by western blot, and autophagy and MAPK growth signaling were also measured by western blot, and migration and invasion were measured by standard in vitro assays. Both Sorafenib and Regorafenib-mediated inhibition of cell growth, migration and invasion were all antagonized by hPL. Drug-mediated apoptosis and decrease in phospho-ERK levels were both blocked by hPL, which also increased anti-apoptotic phospho-STAT, Bax and Bcl-xL levels. Preliminary data, obtained with epidermal growth factor (EGF) and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), included in hPL, revealed that these factors were able to antagonized Sorafenib in a proliferation assay, in particular when used in combination. Platelet factors can antagonize Sorafenib or Regorafenib-mediated growth inhibition and apoptosis in HCC cells. The modulation of platelet activity or numbers has the potential to enhance multikinase drug actions
[en] The poor outcome of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is mainly due to the development of fast growth, invasion and metastasis. The role of TET2 has been implicated in some cancer types, but its role and mechanisms in HCC remains elusive. In this study, our findings indicated that TET2 expression frequently increased in HCC and that TET2 expressional upregulation correlated with HCC progression. TET2 knockdown inhibited HCC cells proliferation in vitro and growth in vivo, and inhibited the invasion potential of HCC cells. Mechanically, TET2 knockdown upregulated E-cadherin expression and then attenuated β-catenin transactivation in HCC cells. TET2 repressed E-cadherin expression via recruited HDAC1 to E-cadherin promoter to reduce the H3K9Ac and H4K16Ac levels. Moreover, β-catenin signaling transcriptionally regulated TET2 expression to form a positive feedback in HCC cells. These findings indicate that the dysregulation of TET2/E-cadherin/β-catenin regulatory loop is a critical oncogenic event in HCC progression.
[en] MicroRNAs are regulators that can play an essential role in tumorigenesis. Although miR-302 families have been suggested to be tumor repressors in human cancer, the mechanism by which they suppress tumor development remains to be defined. In this study, we discover that miR302b suppresses tumor proliferation may due to directly targeting EGFR in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). QRT-PCR was used to assess miR-302b and EGFR expression in 27 pairs of clinical hepatocellular carcinoma tissues and their corresponding adjacent nontumorous liver tissues. MTT, colony formation, immunofluorescence staining, and cell cycle assays were used to examine the tumor suppressor role of miR302b in cell proliferation. Luciferase assays were performed to assess the EGFR was a novel target of miR-302b. Western blot assay was used to validate the protein expression level. We demonstrated that miR-302b was frequently down-regulated, whereas EGFR was up-regulated in 27 pairs of clinical HCC and non-tumorous counterparts. The dual-luciferase reporter assays revealed that EGFR was a novel target of miR-302b. Re-expression of miR-302b resulted in the inhibition of proliferation in hepatocellular carcinoma SMMC-7721 cells. The silencing of EGFR by miR-302b or siEGFR led to down-regulation of proliferation-related proteins, such as AKT2, CCND1, and CDK2. miR-302b suppresses HCC growth may due to targeting the EGFR/AKT2/CCND1 pathway
[en] Emerging data have suggested that cell surface GRP78 is a multifunctional receptor and has been linked to proliferative and antiapoptotic signaling cascades. Activated α_2_−macroglobin (α_2M*) is a natural circulating ligand of cell surface GRP78. Association of cell surface GRP78 with α_2M* is involved in the regulation of cell proliferation, survival and apoptosis in human cancers. The invasion and metastasis of HCC cells were examined using transwell and wound healing assay; Cell surface expression of GRP78 was detected by in cell western assay. Translocation of GRP78 from cytosol to cell surface was observed by transfection of GRP78-EGFP plus TRIRC-WGA staining. The levels of Src, phosphor-Src, FAK, phospho-FAK, EGFR, phospho-EGFR, phospho-Cortactin, phospho-Paxillin were determined by western blot. Cell surface expression of GRP78 in HCC tissue samples was observed by immunofluorescence. The distribution of Paxillin and Cortactin in HCC cells was also observed by immunofluorescence. The interaction between GRP78 and Src were detected by far-western blot, co-immunoprecipitation and GST pulldown. GRP78 mRNA was detected by RT-PCR. In the current study, we showed that association of cell surface GRP78 with α_2M* stimulated the invasion and metastasis of HCC. Cell surface GRP78 could interact directly with c-Src, promoted the phosphorylation of c-Src at Y416. Inhibition of the tyrosine kinase activity of c-Src with PP2 reverted the stimulatory effect caused by association of cell surface GRP78 with α_2M*. Moreover, association of cell surface GRP78 with α_2M* facilitates the interaction between EGFR and c-Src and consequently phosphorylated EGFR at Y1101 and Y845, promoting the invasion and metastasis of HCCs. However, inhibition of the tyrosine kinase of c-Src do not affect the interaction between EGFR and Src. c-Src plays a critical role in the invasion and metastasis of HCC induced by association of cell surface GRP78 with α_2M*. Cell surface GRP78 directly binds and phosphorylates c-Src. As a consequence, c-Src phosphorylated EGFR, promoting the invasion and metastasis of HCCs
[en] Glypican-3(GPC3) has been implicated in tumor development and progression for several years. However, the prognostic significance of GPC3 expression in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is controversial. We performed a meta-analysis of available studies to assess whether GPC3 can be used as a prognostic factor in patients with HCC. We searched PubMed and Ovid EBM Reviews databases and evaluated the reference list of relevant articles for studies that assessed the prognostic relevance of GPC3 in patients with HCC. Meta-analysis was performed using hazard ratio (HR) or odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) as effect measures. A meta-analysis of eight studies included 1070 patients was carried out to evaluate the association between GPC3 and overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) in HCC patients. The relation between GPC3 and tumor pathological features was also assessed. Our analysis results indicated that high GPC3 expression predicted poor OS (HR: 1.96, 95% CI: 1.51–2.55) and DFS (HR: 1.99, 95% CI: 1.57-2.51) of patients with HCC. GPC3 overexpression was significantly associated with high tumor grade (OR: 3.30, 95% CI: 2.04–5.33), late TNM stage (OR: 2.26, 95% CI: 1.00–5.12), and the presence of vascular invasion (OR: 2.43, 95% CI: 1.23–4.82). GPC3 overexpression indicates a poor prognosis for patients with HCC, and it may also have predictive potential for HCC invasion and metastasis
[en] The Ki-67 is a nuclear antigen detected by the monoclonal antibody MIB-1 and its Labeling Index (LI) is considered a marker of normal and abnormal cell proliferation. Pituitary adenomas are generally well differentiated neoplasms, even if in about one third of cases they are invasive of surrounding tissues. The aim of this study is to evaluate the correlation between Ki-67 labelling index and tumor size of pituitary adenomas extimated by means CT and MRI and confirmed at operation. Using the monoclonal antibody MIB-1, we evaluated the expression of Ki-67 in 121 anterior pituitary adenomas consecutively operated on in a 48-month period. In relation to neuroradiological (CT and MRI) and surgically verified tumor size, we identified 24 microadenomas, 27 intrasellar macroadenomas, 34 intra-suprasellar macroadenomas, and 36 intra-supra-parasellar macroadenomas. The adenomas were non-infiltrating (76 cases) and infiltrating (45 cases) adenomas. The wall of the cavernous sinus (CS) was infiltrated in 18 cases. Forty-eight adenomas were non-functioning and 73 functioning. The overall mean ± SD Ki-67 LI was 2.72 ± 2.49% (median 1.6). It was 2.59 ± 1.81 in microadenomas, 2.63 ± 3.45 in intrasellar macroadenomas, 1.91 ± 2.11 in intra-suprasellar macroadenomas, and 3.29 ± 5.45 in intra-supra-parasellar macroadenomas (p = 0.27). It was 3.73 ± 5.13% in infiltrating and 2.03 ± 2.41% in non-infiltrating adenomas (p = 0.02), and 5.61 ± 7.19% in CS-infiltrating versus 2.09 ± 2.37% in CS-non-infiltrating adenomas (p = 0.0005). Our preliminary results seem to exclude significative correlations between Ki-67 LI and tumor size of anterior pituitary adenomas, even if this index can be considered a useful marker in the determination of the infiltrative behaviour of these tumors
[en] MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play important roles in the pathogenesis of many types of cancers by negatively regulating gene expression at posttranscriptional level. Here, we found that miR-361-5p is down-regulated in 135 patients with HCV-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Moreover, the expressions of miR-361-5p were highly correlated with VEGFA in these HCC patients. Further, CCK-8 proliferation assay indicated that miR-361-5p mimics inhibited the cell proliferation of HepG2 and SNU-398 HCC cells. Transwell assay showed that miR-361-5p mimics inhibited the invasion and migration of HepG2 and SNU-398 HCC cells. Luciferase assays revealed that miR-361-5p directly bound to the 3'untranslated region of VEGFA, and western blotting showed that miR-361-5p inhibited the expression of VEGFA. Generally, this study indicated that miR-361-5p is down-regulated in HCC and inhibits proliferation and invasion of HCC cell lines via VEGFA. In future, miR-361-5p will be a potential therapeutic agent for HCC. - Highlights: • miR-361-5p is down-regulated in HCV-related HCC. • miR-361-5p mimics inhibit the proliferation and invasion of HCC cells. • miR-361-5p inhibitors promote the proliferation and invasion of HCC cells. • miR-361-5p targets 3′ UTR of VEGFA in HCC cells. • miR-361-5p inhibits VEGFA in HCC cells.
[en] Maffucci syndrome is rare congenital non-inherited condition characterized by multiple enchondromas and cutaneous hemangiomas. It is associated with increased risk of malignancy, including chondrosarcomas, and because of generalized mesodermal dysplasia, aneurysms can develop. We present a case of maffucci syndrome associated with intracranial chondrosarcoma and aneurysm