Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
BMC Cancer. 2009 Feb 24;9:65. doi: 10.1186/1471-2407-9-65.

Differential expression of Caveolin-1 in hepatocellular carcinoma: correlation with differentiation state, motility and invasion.

Author information

  • 1Dokuz Eylul University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Biology and Genetics, Inciralti, Izmir, Turkey.



Caveolin-1 is the main component of caveolae membrane structures and has different roles during tumorigenesis in different cancer types with varying expression profiles, indicating that the role of caveolin-1 varies according to tumor type. In this study, we investigated the role and expression of caveolin-1 in hepatocellular carcinogenesis.


We analyzed the expression of Caveolin-1 in 96 hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), 29 cirrhosis, 20 normal liver tissues and 9 HCC cell lines by immunostaining and western blotting, respectively. After caveolin-1 was stably transfected to HepG2 and Huh7 cells, the effects of Caveolin-1 on the cellular motility, matrix invasion and anchorage-independent growth were studied. Also, caveolae structure was disrupted in endogenously caveolin expressing cells, SNU 449 and SNU 475 by addition of methyl-beta-cyclodextrin and analyzed cellular motility and invasion.


In HCC cell lines, Caveolin-1 expression is correlated to differentiation and basal motility status of these cells. The percentage of Caveolin-1 positivity was found extremely low in normal liver tissue (5%) while it was increased in cirrhosis (45%) and in HCC (66%) (p = 0.002 and p = 0.001 respectively). Cav-1 expression in poorly differentiated HCC samples has been found significantly higher than well differentiated ones (p = 0.001). The caveolin-1 expression was found significantly higher in tumor cells than its peritumoral cirrhotic tissues in HCC samples (p < 0.001). Additionally, the patients with positive staining for Caveolin-1 had significantly higher portal vein invasion than those with negative staining (p = 0.02). Caveolin-1 overexpression increased motility and invasion of HepG2 and Huh7 cells. And disruption of caveolae results in a dramatic decline in both motility and invasion abilities in SNU-449 and SNU-475 cells. Furthermore, caveolin-1 overexpression resulted in down-regulation of E-cadherin while up-regulation of Vimentin. Also, it increased secreted MMP-2 and expression levels of MMP-9 and MT1-MMP. There was no significant difference in colony formation in soft agar between stable clones and parental ones.


In conclusion, stepwise increase in Cav-1 expression in neoplastic stage with respect to pre-neoplastic stage during hepatocellular carcinogenesis and its ability to stimulate HCC cell motility and invasiveness indicate that this protein plays a crucial role in tumor progression.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk