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Br J Cancer. 2002 Jan 7;86(1):98-101.

Inverse correlation between E-cadherin and Snail expression in hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines in vitro and in vivo.

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Department of Surgery, Saga Medical School, 5-1-1 Nabeshima, Saga 849-8501, Japan.


Hepatocellular carcinoma is a well-known malignancy in the world. However, the molecular mechanism of carcinogenesis and tumour progression remains unclear. Recently, reduced E-cadherin expression due to transcriptional suppressor Snail was proven in a panel of epithelial and dedifferentiated cells derived from carcinomas of various etiologies. In the present study, we examined Snail and E-cadherin mRNA/protein expression in five hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines with variable phenotypes (HuL-1, Hep-G(2), Changliver, HLE, and HLF). The results demonstrated that the presence of Snail mRNA in HuL-1, Changliver, HLE and HLF cells detected by RT-PCR, which was further proven by in situ hybridization in tumours induced by HuL-1, Changliver, and HLF cells where Snail mRNA signals expressed in each of the sections. By contrast, E-cadherin mRNA and protein expression were only detected in Hep-G(2) cells by RT-PCR and Western blot, respectively. These results were also consistent with the data obtained from in vivo immunohistochemical staining where membranous expression of endogenous E-cadherin protein was revealed only in tumour sections induced by Hep-G(2) cells. Here we are the first to report that there is an inverse correlation between Snail and E-cadherin expression in HCC cells as well.

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