Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Digestion. 2013;87(3):176-81. doi: 10.1159/000348441. Epub 2013 Apr 27.

Expression of apoptosis- and vitamin D pathway-related genes in hepatocellular carcinoma.

Author information

  • 1Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University Hospital, University Duisburg-Essen, Germany.



Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the sixth most common malignancy worldwide and therapeutic options are scarce. As they might represent future targets for cancer therapy, the expression of apoptosis-related genes in HCC is of particular interest. In this pilot study, we further examined apoptosis-related genes in human HCC and also focused on vitamin D signaling as this might be a regulator of HCC cell apoptosis.


We employed tumor tissue and serum samples from 62 HCC patients as well as 62 healthy controls for these studies. Tissue and serum specimens were analyzed by quantitative RT-PCR, immunohistochemistry and ELISA.


In HCC patients the apoptosis marker M30 was found to be elevated and several pro-apoptotic (TRAIL, FasL and FasR) as well as anti-apoptotic genes (Mcl-1 and Bcl-2) were simultaneously upregulated in tumor tissue and especially tumor-surrounding tissue as compared to healthy control livers. Moreover, vitamin D serum levels were decreased in HCC patients whereas vitamin D receptor mRNA expression was increased in tumor tissue and tumor-surrounding tissue as compared to healthy livers.


In human HCC, M30 serum levels are elevated indicating an increased cell turnover. Modulation of the vitamin D pathway might be a supportive, pro-apoptotic HCC therapy.

Copyright © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for S. Karger AG, Basel, Switzerland
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk