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Background: Overexpression of Cullin7 is associated with some types of malignancies. However, the part of Cullin7 in hepatocellular carcinoma remains unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of Cullin7 in pathogenesis and the progression of hepatocellular carcinoma. Methods: In the present study, the expression of Cullin7 in hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines and five surgical hepatocellular carcinoma specimens was detected with quantitative reverse transcription PCR and western blotting. In addition, the protein expression of Cullin7 was examined in 162 cases of archived hepatocellular carcinoma using immunohistochemistry. Results: We found elevated expression of both mRNA and protein levels of Cullin7 in hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines, and Cullin7 protein was significantly upregulated in hepatocellular carcinoma compared with paired normal hepatic tissues. The immunohistochemistry analysis revealed that overexpression of Cullin7 occurred in 69.1% of hepatocellular carcinoma samples, which was a significantly higher rate than that in adjacent normal hepatic tissue (P < 0.01). Statistical analysis found that overexpression of Cullin7 was significantly associated with lymph node metastasis, tumor thrombus of the portal vein and advanced clinical stage (P < 0.05). Furthermore, by overexpressing Cullin7 in hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cells, we revealed that Cullin7 could significantly enhance cell proliferation, growth, migration and invasion. Conversely, knocking down Cullin7 expression with short hairpin RNAi in hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cells inhibited cell proliferation, growth, migration and invasion. Conclusion: Our studies provide evidence that overexpression of Cullin7 plays an important role in the pathogenesis and progression of hepatocellular carcinoma and may be a valuable marker for hepatocellular carcinoma management.
An, J., Zhang, Z., Liu, Z., Wang, R., Hui, D., & Jin, Y. (2017). Overexpression of Cullin7 is associated with hepatocellular carcinoma progression and pathogenesis. BMC Cancer, 17(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12885-017-3839-7