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Mol Med Rep. 2013 Mar;7(3):969-74. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2013.1279. Epub 2013 Jan 18.

Overexpression of GPC3 inhibits hepatocellular carcinoma cell proliferation and invasion through induction of apoptosis.

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Second Department of General Surgery, Fifth Hospital of Wuhan, Hubei 430050, PR China.


Glypican‑3 (GPC3) is a membrane heparan sulfate proteoglycan involved in cell proliferation, differentiation, adhesion, migration and the development of the majority of mesodermal tissues and organs. GPC3 has been found to be important for the occurrence and development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Therefore, it may be suitable for use as a novel molecular marker for the diagnosis of primary liver cancer. In the present study, the role of GPC3 in the occurrence and development of HCC was determined. GPC3 recombinant vector was transfected into two HCC cell lines, Huh7 and SK‑HEP‑1, to upregulate the expression of GPC3 and examine changes in the biological behavior of the cells. Results indicate that overexpression of GPC3 in Huh7 and SK‑HEP‑1 cells effectively inhibited cell proliferation and cell invasion through induction of apoptosis. However, cotreatment of the cells with insulin‑like growth factor 2 (IGF2) and fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) was found by Annexin V‑PI flow cytometric analysis to significantly inhibit the apoptotic cell death induced by GPC3 overexpression. These observations indicate that GPC3 may act as a negative regulator of IGF2 and FGF2 pathways. Taken together, these results demonstrate that overexpression of GPC3 inhibits the occurrence and development of HCC.

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