Research Papers:

SLC2A2 (GLUT2) as a novel prognostic factor for hepatocellular carcinoma

Yun Hak Kim, Dae Cheon Jeong, Kyoungjune Pak, Myoung-Eun Han, Ji-Young Kim, Liu Liangwen, Hyun Jin Kim, Tae Woo Kim, Tae Hwa Kim, Dong Woo Hyun and Sae-Ock Oh _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:68381-68392. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.20266

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Yun Hak Kim1,*, Dae Cheon Jeong2,*, Kyoungjune Pak3, Myoung-Eun Han1, Ji-Young Kim1, Liu Liangwen1, Hyun Jin Kim4, Tae Woo Kim5, Tae Hwa Kim6, Dong Woo Hyun7 and Sae-Ock Oh1

1Department of Anatomy, School of medicine, Pusan National University, Yangsan, Republic of Korea

2Department of Statistics, Korea University, Seoul 02841, Republic of Korea

3Department of Nuclear Medicine, Pusan National University Hospital, Busan, Republic of Korea

4Eco-friendly new materials research center, Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT), Daejeon, Republic of Korea

5Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Pusan National University Hospital, Yangsan, Republic of Korea

6Department of Internal Medicine, Pusan National University Hospital, Busan, Republic of Korea

7Department of General Surgery, Pusan National University Hospital, Busan, Republic of Korea

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Sae-Ock Oh, email: [email protected]

Keywords: hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), solute carrier 2A (SLC2A), glucose transporter (GLUT), the cancer genome atlas (TCGA), 2-18fluoro-deoxy-D-glucose (18FDG)

Received: June 10, 2017     Accepted: July 25, 2017     Published: August 14, 2017


High rates of glucose transport via solute carrier (SLC2A, GLUT) family members are required to satisfy the high metabolic demands of cancer cells, and because of this characteristic of cancer cells 2-18fluoro-deoxy-D-glucose (18FDG)-PET has become a powerful diagnostic tool. However, its sensitivity for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is lower than for other malignancies, which suggests SLC2A family members are differentially expressed in HCC. In the present study, the expression patterns of SLC2A family members in tumor tissues and their associations with HCC progression were analyzed using data obtained from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). It was found that the expression of SLC2A2 (GLUT2) was higher in HCC than those of other members of the SLC2A family. The associations of the expression levels of SLC2A family members and previously known prognostic factors with clinical stages were examined using the T-test or the Mann-Whitney U test, and interestingly, SLC2A2 expression was found to be associated with an advanced clinical stage (p = 0.0015). Furthermore, Kaplan-Meier analysis using the log-rank or the Gehan-Breslow-Wilcoxon test showed SLC2A2 expression was positively associated with overall survival (p < 0.001, Gehan-Breslow-Wilcoxon test and p = 0.0145 by multivariate Cox regression). The prognostic significance of SLC2A2 was similar in both early and late stages. However, it was more significant in HCC patients without alcohol consumption history and hepatitis C infection. Taken together, SLC2A2 was associated with clinical stages and independently associated with overall survival in patients with HCC. We suggest that SLC2A2 be considered a new prognostic factor for HCC.

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