Research Papers:

Interferon-stimulated gene 15 (ISG15) is a trigger for tumorigenesis and metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma

Chong Li, Ji Wang, Hong Zhang, Mingao Zhu, Feifei Chen, Yufeng Hu, Hudan Liu and Hong Zhu _

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Oncotarget. 2014; 5:8429-8441. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.2316

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Chong Li1,2, Ji Wang3, Hong Zhang3, Mingao Zhu3, Feifei Chen3, Yufeng Hu4, Hudan Liu4 and Hong Zhu1

1 Department of Oncology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, China

2 CAS Key Laboratory of Infection and Immunity, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing, China

3 Department of Oncology, the Second Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, China

4 School of Pharmacy, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China


Hong Zhu, email:

Keywords: ISG15, HCC, Metastasis, Tumorigenesis

Received: June 04, 2014 Accepted: August 05, 2014 Published: August 06, 2014


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common cancers worldwide with poor prognosis. IFN-stimulated genes 15 (ISG15) is an ubiquitin-like molecule that is strongly upregulated by type I interferons as a primary response to diverse microbial and cellular stress stimuli. However, the role of ISG15 in HCC remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the function of ISG15 during HCC progression and related mechanism using clinicopathological data, cell line and xenograft model. Our results indicated that ISG15 is highly expressed in HCC tissues and multiple HCC cell lines. ISG15 expression is significantly associated with the differentiation grade, metastatic of tumor and survival of HCC patients. However, the expression of ISG15 is not affected by HBV infection. ISG15 promotes the proliferation and migration of hepatocarcinoma cells through maintaining Survivin protein stabilization via sequestering XIAP from interacting with Survivin. Knowing down ISG15 with SiRNA inhibited the xenografted tumor growth and prolonged the lifespan of tumor-bearing mice. All these results support that ISG15 high expression is an intrinsic feature for HCC and a trigger for tumorigenesis and metastasis. ISG15 may be a prognostic biomarker and the inhibition of ISG15 could provide a therapeutic advantage for HCC patients over-expressing ISG15.

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