Research Papers:

The significance of Brf1 overexpression in human hepatocellular carcinoma

Qian Zhong, Shaoyan Xi, Jianzhong Liang, Ganggang Shi, Yi Huang, Yanmei Zhang, Daniel Levy and Shuping Zhong _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:6243-6254. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.6668

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Qian Zhong1,*, Shaoyan Xi1,*, Jianzhong Liang1,*, Ganggang Shi2, Yi Huang3, Yanmei Zhang2,3, Daniel Levy3, Shuping Zhong2,3

1State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, China

2Shantou University Medical College, Shantou, Guangdong, China

3Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Shuping Zhong, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: Brf1, Pol III genes, hepatocellular carcinoma, survival, alcohol

Received: September 08, 2015    Accepted: December 07, 2015    Published: December 18, 2015


Brf1 (TFIIB-related factor 1) plays a crucial role in cell transformation and tumorigenesis. However, the significance of Brf1 expression in human HCC (hepatocellular carcinoma) cases remains to be addressed. In this study, biopsies of human HCC, liver tumor samples of mice and cell lines of normal and tumor liver were utilized to determine the alteration of Brf1 expression using cytological and molecular biological approaches. Brf1 expression is increased in human HCC cases, which is correlated with shorter survival times. Levels of Brf1 and Pol III (RNA polymerase III-dependent) gene transcription in HCC patients with alcohol consumption are higher than the cases of non-HCC with or without alcohol intake. Induction of Brf1 and Pol III genes by ethanol in hepatoma cells is higher than in non-tumor cells. Ethanol increases the rate of cell transformation. Repression of Brf1 inhibits alcohol-promoted cell transformation. Alcohol consumption enhances Brf1 expression to promote cell transformation. These studies demonstrate that Brf1 is a new biomarker of HCC.

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