Downregulation of polo-like kinase 4 in hepatocellular carcinoma associates with poor prognosis

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Polo-like kinase 4 {(PLK4),} belonging to serine/threonine kinase family, is critical for centriole replication and cell cycle progression. {PLK4} has been proposed as a tumor suppressor in hepatocellular carcinoma {(HCC).} However, its expression and significance in {HCC} have not been well studied. In the present study, we found that {PLK4} was markedly downregulated in both {HCC} cell lines and fresh cancer tissues, using quantitative {real-time-PCR} and western blot. Immunohistochemistry data also revealed that decreased expression of {PLK4} was present in 72.4% (178/246) of {HCC} tissues, compared with the corresponding adjacent nontumorous tissues. Furthermore, {PLK4} expression significantly correlated with clinicopathological parameters, including clinical stage {(P=0.034),} serum {α-fetoprotein} {(AFP)} {(P=0.019)} and tumor size {(P=0.032).} Moreover, {HCC} patients with low {PLK4} expression survived shorter than those with high {PLK4} expression, as indicated by overall survival {(P=0.002)} and disease-free survival {(P=0.012)} assessed by the {Kaplan-Meier} method. In addition, multivariate analysis suggested {PLK4} as an independent predictor of overall survival {(HR,} 0.556; {95%CI,} 0.376-0.822; P=0.003) and disease-free survival {(HR,} 0.547; {95%CI,} 0.382-0.783; P=0.001). Collectively, our study demonstrated that {PLK4} was remarkably downregulated in {HCC} and could be served as a potential prognostic marker for patients with this deadly disease.




Liu, L., Zhang, C. Z., Cai, M., Fu, J., Chen, G. G., & Yun, J. (2012). Downregulation of polo-like kinase 4 in hepatocellular carcinoma associates with poor prognosis. PLoS ONE, 7(7).

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