Forfeited hepatogenesis program and increased embryonic stem cell traits in young hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) comparing to elderly HCC.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in young subjects is rare but more devastating. We hypothesize that genes and etiological pathways are unique to young HCC (yHCC; ? 40 years old at diagnosis) patients. We therefore compared the gene expression profiles between yHCCs and HCCs from elderly patients. RESULTS: All 44 young HCCs (? 40 years old at the diagnosis; 23 cases in the training set while another 21 in the validation cohort) were positive for serum hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), but negative for antibodies to hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV). All 48 elderly (>40 years old; 38 in the training set while another 10 in the validation cohort) HCC patients enrolled were also serum HBsAg positive and anti-HCV negative. Comparative genomics analysis was further performed for elucidating enriched or suppressed biological activities in different HCC subtypes.The yHCC group showed more macroscopic venous invasions (60.9% vs. 10.5%, p < 0.001), fewer associated cirrhosis (17.4% vs. 63.2%, p < 0.001), and distinct profiles of expressed genes, especially those related to DNA replication and repair. yHCCs possessed increased embryonic stem cell (ESC) traits and were more dedifferentiated. A 309-gene signature was obtained from two training cohorts and validated in another independent data set. The ILF3 ESC gene, which was previously reported in poorly differentiated breast cancers and bladder carcinomas, was also present in yHCCs. Genes associated with HCC suppression, including AR and ADRA1A, were less abundant in yHCCs. ESC genes were also more enriched in advanced HCCs from elderly patients. CONCLUSION: This study revealed the molecular makeup of yHCC and the link between ESC traits and HCC subtypes. Findings in elderly tumors, therefore, cannot be simply extrapolated to young patients, and yHCC should be treated differently.
Project description:Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in young subjects is rare but more devastating. We hypothesize that genes and etiological pathways are unique to young HCC (yHCC; ≤40 years old at diagnosis) patients. We therefore compared the gene expression profiles between yHCCs and HCCs from elderly patients. Overall design: 16 young HCC were collected from patients aged less than 40. 16 elder HCC profiles were downloaded from the Expression Project for Oncology (expO) of the International Genomics Consortium, with accession number GSE2109 in GEO database.
Project description:Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in young subjects is rare but more devastating. We hypothesize that genes and etiological pathways are unique to young HCC (yHCC; ≤40 years old at diagnosis) patients. We therefore compared the gene expression profiles between yHCCs and HCCs from elderly patients. Overall design: In this dataset, a total of 87 gene expression profiles of tissue samples were collected, which containing 48 primary HCC samples, as well as those of 39 non-cancerous tissues, from 61 patients. HCC tissues were collected from 16 young HCC and 32 elder HCC patients.
Project description:Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in young subjects is rare but more devastating. We hypothesize that genes and etiological pathways are unique to young HCC (yHCC; ≤40 years old at diagnosis) patients. We therefore compared the gene expression profiles between yHCCs and HCCs from elderly patients. Overall design: In this dataset, a total of 31 gene expression profiles of HCC samples were collected. Four of them are classified as stage T1 (early HCC) and 6 of them were classified as stage T3 (late HCC).
Project description:AIM:To study the expression profiles of HBsAg, HBcAg, p21WAF1/CIP1 (p21), Rb genes in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and to investigate their roles in the hepatocar-cinogenesis. METHODS:HCC tissue microarray containing 120-min tissues of 40 HCC cases was constructed. HBsAg, HBcAg, p21 and Rb proteins were immunohistochemically stained by streptavidin-peroxidase conjugated method (S-P). The expression loss of these genes in cancerous, para-cancerous tissues and adjacent normal liver tissues of 40 HCCs were comparatively examined. RESULTS:The positive rate of HBsAg expression in cancerous tissues of 40 HCCs was 7.5%, which was lower than that in para-cancerous and adjacent normal liver tissues (chi2 =12.774, P < 0.01; chi2 = 18.442, P < 0.01). The positive rate of HBcAg expression in cancerous tissues of 40 HCCs was 20.0%, which was also lower than that in para-cancerous and adjacent normal liver tissues (chi2 = 9.482, P < 0.01; chi2 = 14.645, P < 0.01). p21 protein deletion rate in cancerous tissues of 40 HCCs was 27.5%, which was higher than that in para-cancerous and adjacent normal liver tissues (chi2 = 7.439, P < 0.01; chi2 = 11.174, P < 0.01). p21 protein deletion correlated remarkably with the pathological grade of HCC (chi2 = 0.072, P < 0.05). Rb protein deletion rate in cancerous tissues of 40 HCCs was 42.5%, which was also higher than that in para-cancerous and adjacent normal liver tissues (chi2 = 10.551, P < 0.01; chi2 = 18.353, P < 0.01). Rb protein deletion rate did not correlate remarkably with tumor size or pathological grade of HCC (chi2 = 0.014, P > 0.05; chi2 = 0.017, P > 0.05). CONCLUSION:Expression deletion of HBsAg, HBcAg, p21 and Rb proteins in HCCs may play important roles in the carcinogenesis of HCC. Tissue microarray is an effective high-throughput technique platform for cancer research.
Project description:The immunological microenvironment of HCC influences patient outcome, however, the role of B cells remains unclear. This study investigated effects of local B-cell infiltration in HCC cohorts on patient survival and immunological and molecular tumor microenvironment.Unsupervised gene expression analysis of full cancer transcriptomes (N=2158) revealed a highly co-regulated immunological cluster in HCC that mainly contained immunoglobulin fragments. More specifically, in an independent patient cohort (N=242) that compares HCC with non tumorous liver tissue high expression of these B-cell associated genes was associated with better patient outcome (P=0.0149). Conclusively, the immunohistochemical analysis of another independent cohort of resected HCCs (N=119) demonstrated that infiltration of HCCs by CD20+ cells (P=0.004) and CD79a+ cells (P=0.038) at the infiltrative margin were associated with prolonged patient survival. Further, the immunoglobulin fragments that were identified in the gene expression analysis were detected at high levels in patients with dense B-cell infiltration.Gene expression of 2 independent HCC tissue databases was compared using microarrays. Additionally, tissue of resected HCCs was stained for CD20, CD79a and immunoglobulins and analysed for the respective cell numbers separately for tumor, infiltrative margin and distant liver stroma. These findings were correlated with clinical data and patient outcome.Infiltration of HCCs by B cells is associated with prolonged patient survival. Further, a distinct B-cell like immunoglobulin profile of HCCs was identified that goes along with better patient outcome. We suggest that B cells contribute to local tumor control by secreting increased levels of immunoglobulins with antitumor activity.
Project description:Human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common type of primary liver cancer in adults and the most common cause of death in people with cirrhosis. While previous metabolic studies of HCC have mainly focused on the glucose metabolism (Warburg effect), less attention has been paid to tumor-specific features of the lipid metabolism. Here, we applied a computational approach to analyze major pathways of fatty acid utilization in individual HCC. To this end, we used protein intensity profiles of eleven human HCCs to parameterize tumor-specific kinetic models of cellular lipid metabolism including formation, enlargement, and degradation of lipid droplets (LDs). Our analysis reveals significant inter-tumor differences in the lipid metabolism. The majority of HCCs show a reduced uptake of fatty acids and decreased rate of β-oxidation, however, some HCCs display a completely different metabolic phenotype characterized by high rates of β-oxidation. Despite reduced fatty acid uptake in the majority of HCCs, the content of triacylglycerol is significantly enlarged compared to the tumor-adjacent tissue. This is due to tumor-specific expression profiles of regulatory proteins decorating the surface of LDs and controlling their turnover. Our simulations suggest that HCCs characterized by a very high content of triglycerides comprise regulatory peculiarities that render them susceptible to selective drug targeting without affecting healthy tissue.
Project description:The FRA16D fragile site gene WWOX is a tumor suppressor that participates in p53-mediated apoptosis. The c-jun N-terminal kinase JNK1 interacts with WWOX and inhibits apoptosis. We investigated the function of WWOX in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and the effect of JNK inhibition on WWOX-mediated apoptosis.Allelic imbalance on chromosome 16 was analyzed in 73 HCCs using 53 microsatellite markers. WWOX mRNA in HCC cell lines and primary HCCs was measured by real-time RT-PCR. Effects of WWOX on proliferation and apoptosis and the interaction between WWOX and JNK inhibition were examined.Loss on chromosome 16 occurred in 34 of 73 HCCs. Of 11 HCC cell lines, 2 had low, 7 intermediate, and 2 had high WWOX mRNA. Of 51 primary tumors, 23 had low WWOX mRNA. Forced expression of WWOX in SNU387 cells decreased FGF2-mediated proliferation and enhanced apoptosis induced by staurosporine and the JNK inhibitor SP600129. Conversely, knockdown of WWOX in SNU449 cells using shRNA targeting WWOX increased proliferation and resistance to SP600129-induced apoptosis.WWOX induces apoptosis and inhibits human HCC cell growth through a mechanism enhanced by JNK inhibition.
Project description:microRNAs (miRs) are 18-25 nucleotide non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression in several physiological and pathological conditions. To gather more knowledge on microRNAs in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) we generated a small RNA library in the human HCC cell line HA22T/VGH by cloning and sequencing the cDNA obtained following the size selection of 18-24 nucleotide RNAs. We determined the expression levels of the most frequently cloned microRNAs by qPCR in HCC tissues and in their peritumoral counterparts from biopsy specimens of 41 HCC patients. The most frequently cloned miRs were miR-24, miR-27a and miR-21, and their expression levels in human HCC tissues indicate that these miRs were dysregulated in HCC. We showed that miR-24 and miR-27a were significantly downregulated in HCCs from cirrhotic liver tissues in comparison to those from non-cirrhotic liver tissues. In cirrhotic HCCs the downregulation of miR-24 was correlated with poorer prognosis in patients with HBV and HCV virus infections. miR-21 was generally upregulated in HCC tissues versus the corresponding peritumoral tissues, particularly in non-cirrhotic HCC. Furthermore, by sequence alignment we identified the human miR orthologue of Mus musculus miR-1199 not yet annotated. Our results outline the differential expression of miRs in cirrhotic and non-cirrhotic HCCs, thereby contributing to advances in the discovery and validation of novel molecular biomarkers of HCC progression.
Project description:A mouse model of HCC has been developed based on the reported inactivation of the RB pathway in the majority of human HCC. This mouse model harbors floxed alleles of Rb and p130 genes, as well as germline mutation of the p107 gene. Various strategies to activate the activity of a Cre recombinase leads to the efficient deletion of the three genes in the liver of adult mice (TKO mice). Disruption of the RB pathway induces the rapid development of HCC. These HCCs share many similar features of human HCC. Overall design: The goal of this array is to assess genome wide expression of TKO HCCs. Gene expression of control livers (n=4) or TKO HCCs (n=5) was measured using the Affymetrix GeneChip Mouse Genome 430-2.0 arrays
Project description:Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is frequently complicated by the occurrence of intrahepatic and extrahepatic metastases, leading to poor prognosis. To improve the prognosis for HCC patients, there is an urgent need to understand the molecular mechanisms of metastasis in HCC. Since protein Serine/Threonine phosphorylation emerges to be an important posttranslational modification critical in signaling process associated with cell proliferation, survival and metastasis, we employed a pair of primary tumor-derived and corresponding lung-metastatic counterparts (PLC/PRF/5-PT and PLC/PRF/5-LM) and aimed to identify these changes using CelluSpot Serine/Threonine kinase peptide array. Upon analysis, we found phosphorylated level of nucleophosmin (NPM) at Threonine 234/237 (p-NPM-Thr234/237) had remarkably high level in metastatic HCC cells (PLC-LM) than the corresponding primary HCC cell line (PLC-PT). Similar observation was observed in another match primary and their metastatic counterparts (MHCC-97L and MHCC-97H). By immunohistochemical staining, p-NPM-Thr234/237 was consistently found to be preferentially expressed in metastatic HCCs when compared with primary HCC in 28 HCC cases (p < 0.0001). By overexpressing Flag-tagged NPM and its phosphorylation site mutant (Thr234/237A) into low p-NPM-Thr234/237 expressing cells (Hep3B and Huh7) using a lentiviral based approach, we demonstrated that p-NPM-Thr234/237 is critical in invasion and migration of HCC cells, and this effect was mediated by cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1). Wild-type NPM was found to physically interact with a metastatic gene, ROCK2, and defective in Thr234/237 phosphorylation decreased its binding affinity, resulting in decrease in ROCK2 mediated signaling pathway. Identification of CDK1/p-NPM/ROCK2 signaling pathway provides a novel target for molecular therapy against HCC metastasis.