Research Papers:

Hsp60 exerts a tumor suppressor function by inducing cell differentiation and inhibiting invasion in hepatocellular carcinoma

Jing Zhang, Xingchun Zhou, Hulin Chang, Xiaojun Huang, Xu Guo, Xiaohong Du, Siyuan Tian, Lexiao Wang, Yinghua Lyv, Peng Yuan and Jinliang Xing _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:68976-68989. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.12185

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Jing Zhang1,*, Xingchun Zhou1,*, Hulin Chang2,*, Xiaojun Huang1, Xu Guo1, Xiaohong Du1, Siyuan Tian1, Lexiao Wang1, Yinghua Lyv1, Peng Yuan3, Jinliang Xing1

1State Key Laboratory of Cancer Biology and Experimental Teaching Center of Basic Medicine, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China

2Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Shaanxi Provincial People’s Hospital, Xi’an, Shaanxi, China

3Department of Pain Treatment, Tangdu Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China

*Jing Zhang, Xingchun Zhou and Hulin Chang contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Jinliang Xing, email: [email protected]

Keywords: Hsp60, hepatocellular carcinoma, differentiation, invasion, mitochondrial biogenesis

Received: January 05, 2016     Accepted: August 08, 2016     Published: September 22, 2016


Heat shock protein 60 (Hsp60), a typical mitochondrial chaperone, is associated with progression of various cancers. However, its expression and significance in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remain largely unclear. In the present study, the mRNA and protein expression of Hsp60 in HCC tissues were detected by quantitative RT-PCR (n=24), western blot (n=7), and immunohistochemical staining (n=295), respectively. The correlation between Hsp60 expression and clinicopathological characteristics of HCC patient was also analyzed. Meanwhile, the influence of Hsp60 on malignant phenotype of HCC cells was further investigated. We found that expression of Hsp60 was significantly downregulated in HCC tissues compared to peritumor tissues. Hsp60 expression was significantly correlated with serum alpha -foetoprotein (AFP) level and tumor differentiation grade. Moreover, high Hsp60 expression cancer/pericancer (C/P) ratio was associated with a better overall survival rate (P=0.035, n=295). The prognostic implication of Hsp60 in HCC was further confirmed in another cohort of 107 HCC patients (P=0.027). Up-regulation of Hsp60 remarkably induced the cell differentiation and inhibited the invasive potential of HCC in vitro and in vivo. Intriguingly, the down-regulation of Hsp60 significantly impaired mitochondrial biogenesis. Although more data are required to clarify the underling mechanism responsible for function of Hsp60, our results suggested that the effect of Hsp60 on differentiation and invasion of HCC cells might be associated with mitochondrial biogenesis. Collectively, our findings indicated that Hsp60 exerted a tumor suppressor function, and might serve as a potential therapeutic target in the treatment of HCC.

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