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Ann Surg Oncol. 2010 Mar;17(3):907-22. doi: 10.1245/s10434-009-0779-8. Epub 2009 Oct 29.

CKS1B overexpression implicates clinical aggressiveness of hepatocellular carcinomas but not p27(Kip1) protein turnover: an independent prognosticator with potential p27 (Kip1)-independent oncogenic attributes?

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Yuan's General Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.



Through data mining the Stanford Microarray Database, the CKS1B transcript was found to be frequently upregulated in hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) with low alpha-fetal protein (AFP) expression. Together with SKP2, CKS1B is known to implicate p27(Kip1) protein turnover promoting cell-cycle progression.


CKS1B, p27(Kip1), and SKP2 were immunostained in 75 HCCs and correlated with clinicopathological features, local recurrence-free survival (LRFS), and overall survival (OS). Silencing of CKS1B and SKP2 with interference short-hairpin RNA (shRNA) was performed in SK-Hep1 and Hep-3B cell lines.


Immunohistochemically, increased CKS1B and SKP2, and attenuated p27(Kip1) were all associated with tumor multiplicity (P < 0.05) and increasing American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) stage (P < 0.05). Overexpression of CKS1B significantly correlated with advanced Okuda stages (P = 0.048) and SKP2 overexpression (P = 0.047). Neither CKS1B nor SKP2 was inversely related to p27(Kip1), which was reinforced by no alteration in p27(Kip1) abundance in HCC-derived cells with CKS1B or SKP2 silencing. Both CKS1B overexpression (P = 0.0011 and P = 0.0017) and p27(Kip1) attenuation (P = 0.0079 and P = 0.0085) were predictive of OS and LRFS, respectively, while SKP2 overexpression was associated with worse OS alone (P = 0.0043). Combined assessment of CKS1B and p27(Kip1) was able to robustly distinguish three prognostically different groups (P < 0.0001). In multivariate comparison, CKS1B overexpression represented the strongest independent adverse prognosticator [OS, P = 0.0235, hazard ratio (HR): 4.193; LRFS, P = 0.0204, HR: 4.262], followed by p27(Kip1) attenuation (OS, P = 0.0320, HR: 2.553; LRFS, P = 0.0262, HR: 2.533).


CKS1B protein overexpression in HCCs is implicated in clinical aggressiveness but not in p27(Kip1) turnover, implying presence of p27(Kip1)-independent oncogenic attributes. The combined assessment of CKS1B and p27(Kip1) immunoexpressions effectively risk-stratifies HCCs with different prognoses, which may aid in the management of this deadly malignancy.

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