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Dis Markers. 2019 Feb 10;2019:9267046. doi: 10.1155/2019/9267046. eCollection 2019.

High Expression of ANXA2 Pseudogene ANXA2P2 Promotes an Aggressive Phenotype in Hepatocellular Carcinoma.

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Cancer Center, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, China.
Department of Orthopedics, Liyuan Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430077, China.
Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, The Affiliated Hospital of Guizhou Medical University, Guiyang, Guizhou 550001, China.



Accumulating evidence suggests that pseudogenes play potential roles in the regulation of their cognate wild-type genes, oncogenes, and tumor suppressor genes. ANXA2P2 (annexin A2 pseudogene 2) is one of three pseudogenes of annexin A2 that have recently been shown to be aberrantly transcribed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells. However, its clinical meaning and biological function in HCC have remained unclear. Therefore, the present study was aimed at exploring the prognostic value of a high expression of ANXA2P2 in HCC tissue and at identifying whether it can affect the efficacy of targeted drugs (sorafenib, regorafenib, and lenvatinib).


We obtained ANXA2P2 mRNA expression levels from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) RNA sequence database. The expression levels of ANXA2P2 in 49 pairs of intratumoral and peritumoral liver tissues were examined by RT-PCR. Wound healing and transwell assays were performed to confirm the tumor-promoting properties of ANXA2P2 in HCC cells. CCK8 assay was conducted to identify whether ANXA2P2 can affect the growth of HCC cells when administered with targeted drugs (sorafenib, regorafenib, and lenvatinib).


The expression of ANXA2P2 in HCC tissues was significantly higher than that in adjacent cancerous tissues from TCGA database and validation group. Additionally, patients with high ANXA2P2 expression in HCC tissue had a shorter overall survival, whereas no statistically significant correlation was found between ANXA2P2 expression and disease-free survival (p = 0.08) as well as other clinical parameters, such as age, gender, histological grade, T classification, stage, albumin level, alpha-fetoprotein, and vascular invasion (p = 0.7323, 0.8807, 0.5762, 0.8515, 0.7113, 0.242, 1.0000, and 0.7685, respectively). Furthermore, in vitro experiments showed that knockdown of ANXA2P2 inhibited migration and invasion of HCC cells but did not have an influence on the HCC cell proliferation when treated with targeted drugs (sorafenib, regorafenib, and lenvatinib).


Our study confirmed elevated ANXA2P2 expression levels in HCC tissue compared with adjacent noncancerous tissue and a worse prognosis of patients with high ANXA2P2 levels in the HCC tissue. The newly found properties of promoting migration and invasion of ANXA2P2 in HCC help to explain this phenomenon. ANXA2P2 could be a novel and suitable predicative biomarker for the risk assessment of recurrence or metastasis of HCC patients but may not be effective to predict the efficacy of targeted drugs.

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