Identification and characterization of genes associated with human hepatocellular carcinogenesis

Nobuo Kondoh, Toru Wakatsuki, Ryo Akihide, Akiyuki Hada, Tsukasa Aihara, Sankichi Horiuchi, Narihide Goseki, Osamu Matsubara, Kenji Takenaka, Mizue Shichita, Kenji Tanaka, Masahiro Shuda, Mikio Yamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

221 Citations (Scopus)


Eight cDNAs encoding galectin 4 (Gal-4), UGT2B4 (UDP- glucuronosyltransferase), ribosomal phosphoprotein P0 (rpP0), dek, insulin- like growth factor binding protein (IGFBP) 1, vitronectin, retinoic acid- induced gene E (RIG-E), and CYP3A4 (cytochrome P450 nifedipine oxidase) were identified as differentially expressed genes between human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and matched nontumorous liver tissues. Higher levels of UGT2B4, rpP0, dek, vitronectin, Gal-4, and IGFBP-1 mRNAs combined with a lower level of RIG-E mRNA were observed in at least four of five primary HCCs compared to matched nontumorous liver tissues. Furthermore, a pathological study suggested that the levels of UGT2B4, rpP0, dek, and vitronectin increased and the level of RIG-E decreased with the histological grading. On the other hand, the expression of CYP3A4 mRNA and CYP3A7 (P-450 Fla) mRNA, a transcript found in the fetus and highly homologous to CYP3A4, was higher in all nontumorous liver and some of the carcinoma tissues from five HCC patients, whereas it was significantly lower in normal liver tissues from two nonHCC patients. The examination using HCC cell lines HuH-7 and HepG2 under different growth conditions suggested that the expression of dek mRNA was growth-associated. In contrast, the expression of Gal-4, UGT2B4, IGFBP-1, and RIG-E mRNAs was regulated in a cell density-dependent manner: the levels of Gal-4, UGT2B4, and IGFBP-1 were undetectably low, whereas the level of RIG-E was high in rapidly proliferating, subconfluent HCC cells in 10% serum; however, the expression levels were reversed in dense, overcrowded cultures. In addition, IGFBP-1 and Gal-4 mRNAs were also induced by reducing the serum concentration to 0.1%. We also demonstrated that sodium butyrate, an inducer of differentiation, up-regulated and down-regulated RIG-E and dek mRNAs, respectively, in a dose-dependent manner in HuH-7 cells, supporting, in part, our pathological observation. In summary, therefore, high expression of Gal- 4, UGT2B4, rpP0, dek, IGFBP-1, and vitronectin, together with low expression of RIG-E, was correlated with the malignant potential of HCC. CYP3A4 and CYP3A7 could be induced in HCC-bearing livers. These transcripts are differentially regulated depending on cell-cell contact, serum growth factors, growth and differentiation status, and/or other mechanisms in premalignant and malignant liver cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4990-4996
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Research
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 01-10-1999
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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