// Rui Zhang 1,* , Peng Lin 2,* , Hong Yang 2 , Yun He 2 , Yi-Wu Dang 1 , Zhen-Bo Feng 1 and Gang Chen 1 1 Department of Pathology, First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, P. R. China 2 Department of Ultrasonography, First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, P. R. China * These authors have contributed equally to this work Correspondence to: Zhen-Bo Feng, email: // Gang Chen, email: // Keywords : CDK5; hepatocellular carcinoma; immunohistochemistry; The Cancer Genome Atlas; siRNA; Pathology Section Received : September 16, 2017 Accepted : October 27, 2017 Published : November 26, 2017 Abstract To investigate the clinical role and biological function of cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (CDK5) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), 412 surgically resected tissue samples (HCC, n=171; non-HCC=241) were obtained and analyzed with immunohistochemistry. The diagnostic and prognostic values of CDK5 expression levels in HCC were clarified. Moreover, RNA-seq data or microarray datasets from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) (HCC, n=374; normal, n=50) or other public databases (HCC, n=1864; non-tumor=1995) regarding CDK5 in HCC were extracted and examined. Several bioinformatic methods were performed to identify CDK5-regulated pathways. In vitro experiments were adopted to measure proliferation and apoptosis in HCC cells after CDK5 mRNA was inhibited in the HCC cell lines HepG2 and HepB3. Based on immunohistochemistry, CDK5 expression levels were notably increased in HCC tissues (n=171) compared with normal (n=33, P <0.001), cirrhosis (n=37, P <0.001), and adjacent non-cancerous liver (n=171, P <0.001) tissues. The up-regulation of CDK5 was associated with higher differentiation ( P <0.001), metastasis ( P <0.001), advanced clinical TNM stages ( P <0.001), portal vein tumor embolus ( P =0.003) and vascular invasion ( P =0.004). Additionally, TCGA data analysis also revealed significantly increased CDK5 expression in HCC compared with non-cancerous hepatic tissues ( P <0.001). The pooled standard mean deviation (SMD) based on 36 included datasets (HCC, n=2238; non-cancerous, n=2045) indicated that CDK5 was up-regulated in HCC (SMD=1.23, 95% CI: 1.00-1.45, P <0.001). The area under the curve (AUC) of the summary receiver operating characteristic (SROC) curve was 0.88. Furthermore, CDK5 knock-down inhibited proliferation and promoted apoptosis. In conclusion, CDK5 plays an essential role in the initiation and progression of HCC, most likely via accelerating proliferation and suppressing apoptosis in HCC cells by regulating the cell cycle and DNA replication pathways.
Zhang, R., Lin, P., Yang, H., He, Y., Dang, Y. W., Feng, Z. B., & Chen, G. (2017). Clinical role and biological function of CDK5 in hepatocellular carcinoma: A study based on immunohistochemistry, RNA-seq and in vitro investigation. Oncotarget, 8(65), 108333–108354. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.22659