Oncotarget

Research Papers:

LGR5 promotes hepatocellular carcinoma metastasis through inducting epithelial-mesenchymal transition

Jie Liu, Guo-Zheng Yu, Xiao-Ke Cheng, Xiao-Dong Li, Xian-Tao Zeng and Xue-Qun Ren _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:50896-50903. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.15143

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Abstract

Jie Liu1,2,*, Guo-Zheng Yu3,*, Xiao-Ke Cheng4,*, Xiao-Dong Li4,5, Xian-Tao Zeng6 and Xue-Qun Ren1,4

1Department of General Surgery, Huaihe Hospital of Henan University, Kaifeng 475000, Henan Province, China

2Nursing Department, Huaihe Hospital of Henan University, Kaifeng 475000, Henan Province, China

3Department of General Surgery, Huangshi Central Hospital, Affiliated Hospital of Hubei Polytechnic University, Huangshi 435000, Hubei Province, China

4Center for Evidence-Based Medicine, Huaihe Hospital of Henan University, Kaifeng 475000, Henan Province, China

5Department of Urology, Huaihe Hospital of Henan University, Kaifeng 475000, Henan Province, China

6Center for Evidence-Based and Translation Medicine, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan 430071, Hubei Province, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Xue-Qun Ren, email: renxuequn001@163.com

Keywords: hepatocellular carcinoma, LGR5, leucine-rich repeat-containing G-protein coupled receptor 5, metastasis, epithelial-mesenchymal transition

Received: December 01, 2016    Accepted: January 06, 2017    Published: February 07, 2017

ABSTRACT

The purpose of the present study was to investigate the prognostic value of Leucine-rich repeat-containing G-protein coupled receptor 5 (LGR5) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and its role in promoting HCC metastasis. The expression level of LGR5 in liver tumor tissues and adjacent non-tumor tissues were detected adopting immunohistochemistry (IHC), real-time PCR (RT-PCR) and western blot assays. Chi-square test was used to evaluate the correlation between LGR5 expression and clinicopathological characteristics. In addition, we assessed the relationship between LGR5 and two epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers (E-cadherin and N-cadherin) in HCC tissues and cell lines. Our results showed that the expression of LGR5 was significantly higher in liver tumor tissues than in adjacent non-tumor tissues. Moreover, up-regulated LGR5 was associated with larger tumor diameter (>5cm, P=0.001), higher TNM stage (P=0.021), increased recurrence (P=0.023) and growing metastasis (P=0.030). Besides, we found that the expression level of LGR5 was correlated with E-cadherin and N-cadherin. In conclusion, up-regulated LGR5 in HCC patients is associated with malignant clinicopathological characteristics. LGR5 may promote HCC metastasis through inducting EMT process, and thus can be regarded as a candidate biomarker for prognosis and as a target in therapy.


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