Research Papers:

MMP16 promotes tumor metastasis and indicates poor prognosis in hepatocellular carcinoma

Zhenghai Shen, Xing Wang, Xiaotian Yu, Yun Zhang and Lei Qin _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:72197-72204. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.20060

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Zhenghai Shen1,2, Xing Wang2, Xiaotian Yu2, Yun Zhang2 and Lei Qin1

1Department of General Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou 215006, China

2Department of General Surgery, Yixing People’s Hospital, Yixing, Wuxi 214200, China

Correspondence to:

Lei Qin, email: [email protected]

Keywords: MMP16, hepatocellular carcinoma, prognosis, TCGA, epithelial-mesenchymal transition

Received: June 28, 2017     Accepted: July 26, 2017     Published: August 07, 2017


Matrix metalloproteinase (MMPs) participates in multiple biological behaviors and plays an important role in regulating tumor invasion. However, the functions of MMP16 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains unknown. The prognostic value of MMP16 was studied in TCGA database and validation cohort. MMP16-silencing HCC cells (HepG2 and HCCLM3) were used for evaluating cell proliferation and invasion by CCK-8 and Transwell assays. Our results showed that the MMP16 was a predictor for overall survival in patients with HCC (HR: 1.169, 95% CI: 1.034–1.321, P = 0.013) in TCGA database. In validation cohort, MMP16 expression was an independent predictor for survival in both univariate and multivariate analysis (P < 0.05). Furthermore, knockdown MMP16 weakened the cell invasive potential by inhibiting epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) process. Therefore, our findings showed that MMP16 was a prognostic factor in HCC, ectopic MMP16 expression promoted invasion of HCC cells by inducing EMT process, suggesting a tumor oncogenic function in HCC and provides the potential therapeutic target for the treatment of HCC.

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