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Carcinogenesis. 2011 Dec;32(12):1897-904. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgr220. Epub 2011 Oct 14.

Downregulation of p57 accelerates the growth and invasion of hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Department of Oncology, First Affiliated Hospital, College of Medicine of Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an 710061, Shaanxi Province, People's Republic of China.


p57 is a multifunctional protein involved in the regulation of tumor formation and development; however, the biological role of p57 in the pathogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is poorly understood. To explore the role of p57 in the development of HCC, we examined p57 messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein levels in HCC tissues and adjacent non-cancerous tissues by immunohistochemistry, real-time polymerase chain reaction and western blot analysis. Moreover, we generated stable p57 knockdown HCC cell lines to investigate the impact of p57 downregulation on the growth and invasion of HCC in vitro and in vivo. Our results showed that p57 mRNA and protein levels were significantly decreased in human HCC tissues. In addition, this reduction in p57 expression was associated with increased tumor size, more advanced TNM stages, the presence of capsule invasion and extrahepatic metastasis and decreased overall survival time. In human HCC cell lines, p57 downregulation increased the expression of cyclin D1 and CDK2 and enhanced the activities of CDK4/cyclin D1 and CDK2/cyclin E complexes, resulting in increased cellular proliferation and growth of xenografts. Furthermore, p57 downregulation accelerated the invasion of HCC cells in vitro and in vivo by controlling the activity of LIMK1. In conclusion, the downregulation of p57 accelerates the growth and invasion of HCC, indicating that p57 is an important tumor suppressor in HCC. Based on these findings, p57 may be a potential target for HCC prevention and therapy.

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