Research Papers:

Metallothionein 1M suppresses tumorigenesis in hepatocellular carcinoma

Cheng-Lin Fu, Bing Pan, Ju-Hua Pan and Mei-Fu Gan _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:33037-33046. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.16521

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Cheng-Lin Fu1, Bing Pan1, Ju-Hua Pan1, Mei-Fu Gan2

1Department of Pathology, The First Hospital of Taizhou, Wenzhou Medical University, Taizhou 318020, China

2Department of Pathology, Taizhou Hospital, Wenzhou Medical University, Linhai 317000, China

Correspondence to:

Mei-Fu Gan, email: [email protected]

Keywords: hepatocellular carcinoma, metallothionein 1M, MT1M, tumor marker

Received: December 20, 2016     Accepted: March 10, 2017     Published: March 23, 2017


Members of the metallothionein (MT) family are involved in metal detoxifcation and in the protection of cells against certain electrophilic carcinogens. In present study, it was found that MT1M was downregulated in more than 77.1% (91/118) of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissues compared with adjacent non-tumor tissues. Furthermore, overexpression of MT1M inhibited cell viability, colony formation, cell migration and invasion in HCC cell lines and tumor cell growth in xenograft nude mice, and activated cell apoptosis in HCC cell lines. In addition, immunohistochemistry analysis showed MT1M was negative or weak staining in tumor tissues but moderate or strong staining in adjacent non-tumor tissues. The sensitivity and specificity of MT1M for HCC diagnosis were 76.27% and 89.83%, respectively. In conclusion, MT1M was identified as a potential tumor marker for HCC and may serve as a useful therapeutic agent for HCC gene therapy.

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