Research Papers:

Reduction of T-Box 15 gene expression in tumor tissue is a prognostic biomarker for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma

Yuji Morine _, Tohru Utsunomiya, Yu Saito, Shinichiro Yamada, Satoru Imura, Tetsuya Ikemoto, Akihiro Kitagawa, Yuta Kobayashi, Seiichiro Takao, Keisuke Kosai, Koshi Mimori, Yasuhito Tanaka and Mitsuo Shimada

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Oncotarget. 2020; 11:4803-4812. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.27852

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Yuji Morine1, Tohru Utsunomiya1, Yu Saito1, Shinichiro Yamada1, Satoru Imura1, Tetsuya Ikemoto1, Akihiro Kitagawa2, Yuta Kobayashi2, Seiichiro Takao2, Keisuke Kosai2, Koshi Mimori2, Yasuhito Tanaka3 and Mitsuo Shimada1

1 Department of Surgery, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Tokushima University Graduate School, Tokushima 770-8503, Japan

2 Department of Surgery, Kyushu University Beppu Hospital, Beppu 874-0838, Japan

3 Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto 860-8556, Japan

Correspondence to:

Yuji Morine,email: [email protected]

Keywords: genome-wide analysis; methylation; tumor suppressor gene; prognostic biomarker; hepatocellular carcinoma

Received: October 28, 2020     Accepted: December 08, 2020     Published: December 29, 2020

Copyright: © 2020 Morine et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Genome-wide analysis is widely applied to detect molecular alterations during oncogenesis and tumor progression. We analyzed DNA methylation profiles of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and investigated the clinical role of most heypermethylated of tumor, encodes T-box 15 (TBX15), which was originally involved in mesodermal differentiation. We conducted a genome-wide analysis of DNA methylation of tumor and non-tumor tissue of 15 patients with HCC, and revealed TBX15 was the most hypermethylated gene of tumor (Beta-value in tumor tissue = 0.52 compared with non-tumor tissue). Another validation set, which comprised 58 HCC with radical resection, was analyzed to investigate the relationships between tumor phenotype and TBX15 mRNA expression. TBX15 mRNA levels in tumor tissues were significantly lower compared with those of nontumor tissues (p < 0.0001). When we assigned a cutoff value = 0.5-fold, the overall survival 5-year survival rates of the low-expression group (n = 17) were significantly shorter compared with those of the high-expression group (n = 41) (43.3% vs. 86.2%, p = 0.001). Multivariate analysis identified low TBX15 expression as an independent prognostic factor for overall and disease-free survival. Therefore, genome-wide DNA methylation profiling indicates that hypermethylation and reduced expression of TBX15 in tumor tissue represents a potential biomarker for predicting poor survival of patients with HCC.

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