Research Papers:

Oncogenic function and prognostic significance of protein tyrosine phosphatase PRL-1 in hepatocellular carcinoma

Shaowen Jin, Kaimei Wang, Kang Xu, Junyao Xu, Jian Sun, Zhonghua Chu, Dechen Lin, Phillip H. Koeffler, Jie Wang and Dong Yin _

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Oncotarget. 2014; 5:3685-3696. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.1986

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Shaowen Jin1,2, Kaimei Wang3, Kang Xu1, Junyao Xu1, Jian Sun1, Zhonghua Chu4, Dechen Lin5, Phillip H. Koeffler5, Jie Wang1 and Dong Yin2

1 Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China

2 Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Malignant Tumor Epigenetics and Gene Regulation, Medical Research Center, Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China

3 Department of Pediatrics, Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China

4 Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China

5 Division of Hematology/Oncology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine


Dong Yin, email:

Jie Wang, email:

Keywords: Hepatocellular carcinoma, PRL-1, SNP-Chip, Tumor metastasis, Prognostic marker

Received: March 28, 2014 Accepted: May 17, 2014 Published: May 19, 2014


Our SNP-Chip data demonstrated 7/60 (12%) hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients had PRL-1 copy number amplification. However, its biological functions and signaling pathways in HCC are deficient. Here, we investigated its oncogenic function and prognostic significance in HCC. PRL-1 protein levels were examined in 167 HCC samples by immunohistochemisty (IHC). The relationship of PRL-1 expression and clinicopathological features was assessed by correlation, Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analyses. The oncogenic function of PRL-1 in HCC cells and its underlying mechanism were investigated by ectopic overexpression and knockdown model. PRL-1 levels in primary HCC and metastatic intravascular cancer thrombus were also determined by IHC. PRL-1 levels were frequently elevated in HCC tissues (81%), and elevated expression of PRL-1 was significantly associated with more aggressive phenotype and poorer prognosis in HCC patients (p<0.05). Ectopic overexpression of PRL-1 markedly enhanced HCC cells migration and invasion. Furthermore, the oncogenic functions of PRL-1 were mediated by PI3K/AKT/GSK3β signaling pathway through inhibiting E-cadherin expression. Finally, PRL-1 protein levels in metastatic cancer thrombus were higher than that in primary HCC tissues (p<0.05). These data highlight the oncogenic function of PRL-1 in HCC invasion and metastasis implicating PRL-1 as a potential prognostic marker as well as therapeutic target in HCC.

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