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World J Gastroenterol. 2005 Aug 14;11(30):4667-73.

Role of cell adhesion signal molecules in hepatocellular carcinoma cell apoptosis.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Shanghai Medical College of Fudan University, Shanghai, China.



Cell adhesion molecules and their signal molecules play a very important role in carcinogenesis. The aim of this study is to elucidate the role of these molecules and the signal molecules of integrins and E-cadherins, such as (focal adhesion kinase) FAK, (integrin linked kinase) ILK, and beta-catenin in hepatocellular carcinoma cell apoptosis.


We first synthesized the small molecular compound, S-(1,2-dichlorovinyl)-L-cysteine (DCVC), and identified it, by element analysis and (1)H NMR. To establish the apoptosis model of the SMMC-7721 hepatocellular carcinoma cell, we treated cells with DCVC in EBSS for different concentrations or for various length times in the presence of 20 micromol/L N,N'-diphenyl-p-phenylenediamine, which blocks necrotic cell death and identified this model by flow cytometry and DNA ladder. Then we studied the changes of FAK, ILK, beta-catenin, and PKB in this apoptotic model by Western blot.


We found that the loss or decrease of cell adhesion signal molecules is an important reason in apoptosis of SMMC-7721 hepatocellular carcinoma cell and the apoptosis of SMMC-7721 cell was preceded by the loss or decrease of FAK, ILK, PKB, and beta-catenin or the damage of cell-matrix and cell-cell adhesion.


Our results suggested that the decrease of adhesion signal molecules, FAK, ILK, PKB, and beta-catenin, could induce hepatocellular carcinoma cell apoptosis.

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