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Mod Pathol. 2006 Dec;19(12):1546-54. Epub 2006 Sep 15.

Positional expression profiling indicates candidate genes in deletion hotspots of hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Department of Anatomical and Cellular Pathology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, NT, SAR Hong Kong, China.


Molecular characterizations of hepatocellular carcinoma have indicated frequent allelic losses on chromosomes 4q, 8p, 16q and 17p, where the minimal deleted regions have been further defined on 4q12-q23, 4q31-q35, 8p21-p22, 16q12.1-q23.1 and 17p13. Despite these regions are now well-recognized in early liver carcinogenesis, few underlying candidate genes have been identified. In an effort to define affected genes within common deleted loci of hepatocellular carcinoma, we conducted transcriptional mapping by high-resolution cDNA microarray analysis. In 20 hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines and 20 primary tumors studied, consistent downregulations of novel transcripts were highlighted throughout the entire genome and within sites of frequent losses. The array-derived candidates including fibrinogen gamma peptide (FGG, at 4q31.3), vitamin D binding protein (at 4q13.3), fibrinogen-like 1 (FGL1, at 8p22), metallothionein 1G (MT1G, at 16q12.2) and alpha-2-plasmin inhibitor (SERPINF2, at 17p13) were confirmed by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, which also indicated a more profound downregulation of FGL1, MT1G and SERPINF2 relative to reported tumor-suppressor genes, such as DLC1 (8p22), E-cadherin (16q22.1) and TP53 (17p13.1). In primary hepatocellular carcinoma examined, a significant repression of MT1G by more than 100-fold was indicated in 63% of tumors compared to the adjacent nonmalignant liver (P = 0.0001). Significant downregulations of FGG, FGL1 and SERPINF2 were also suggested in 30, 23 and 33% of cases, respectively, compared to their nonmalignant counterparts (P < 0.016). In summary, transcriptional mapping by microarray indicated a number of previously undescribed downregulated genes in hepatocellular carcinoma, and highlighted potential candidates within common deleted regions.

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