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Cell Physiol Biochem. 2017;41(6):2523-2533. doi: 10.1159/000475971. Epub 2017 May 4.

ZNF667 Serves as a Putative Oncogene in Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma.

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Transplantation Center of the Third Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Research Center of National Health Ministry on Transplantation Medicine Engineering and Technology, Changsha, China.
Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Institute of Hepatobiliary Diseases of Wuhan University, Transplant Center of Wuhan University, Hubei Key Laboratory of Medical Technology on Transplantation, Wuhan, China.
Department of pathology, school of basic medicine, Central South University, Changsha, China.
Laboratory of Shock, Department of Pathophysiology, Xiangya School of Medicine, Central South University, Changsha, China.



Zinc finger protein 667 (ZNF667) is a member of C2H2 zinc finger protein family. For the first time, we aim to analyze the expression pattern of ZNF667 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissues; to explore its role in HCC tumorigenesis.


Immuno-histochemistry was carried out to characterize the ZNF667 expression in paraffin-embedded HCC samples. The relationship between ZNF667 expression and the clinical, pathological data of the patients were analyzed. Human normal hepatocyte cells LO2 over expressing ZNF667 (LO2-ZNF667 cells), ZNF667 depleted hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cells (HepG2-shZNF667 cells) were set up, their proliferation, migration and invasion abilities were analyzed. Xenograft nude mice were used to analyze the malignancy of HepG2-shZNF667 cells in vivo. Western blot was performed to analyze the expression of Bcl-2 and BAX in LO2-ZNF667 and HepG2-shZNF667 cells.


Increased ZNF667 was found via immuno-histochemistry in HCC. Enhanced ZNF667 expression was associated with tumor size, clinical stage and tumor differentiation. LO2-ZNF667 cells displayed increased and HepG2-shZNF667 cells decreased cell proliferation, migration and invasion. Xenograft experiments proved reduced malignancy of HepG2-shZNF667 cells in vivo. LO2-ZNF667 cells displayed increased Bcl-2 and decreased BAX protein expression. HepG2-shZNF667 cells displayed enhanced BAX and inhibited BCL-2 expression.


ZNF667 is shown to be a new oncogene in HCC and it may serve as a new therapeutic target for HCC via enhancing BCL-2 and decreasing BAX expression.


HepG2; Hepatocellular carcinoma; LO2; Zinc finger protein 667

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