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J Hepatol. 2011 Jan;54(1):122-31. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2010.06.026. Epub 2010 Aug 26.

Dysadherin can enhance tumorigenesis by conferring properties of stem-like cells to hepatocellular carcinoma cells.

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Laboratory of Tumor Suppressor, Lee Gil Ya Cancer and Diabetes Institute, Gachon University of Medicine and Science, Incheon, South Korea.



Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is associated with a high potential for metastasis and disease recurrence, even after surgical resection. The cancer stem cell (CSC) hypothesis proposes that CSCs are responsible for chemo-resistance, recurrence, and metastasis. Dysadherin is a prognostic indicator of metastasis and poor survival in many different cancer types. In this study, we investigated the possible link between dysadherin and CSC in HCC.


We analyzed the functional implications of dysadherin on cancer stemness by modification of the dysadherin gene in HCC cell lines.


The transfection of dysadherin cDNA into the liver cancer cell line PLC/PRF/5 enhanced the properties of CSCs, including anti-apoptosis, their sphere-forming ability, side population phenotype, and tumor initiation ability in vivo. Furthermore, knockdown of dysadherin in the liver cancer cell line SK-Hep1 suppressed its stem cell-like properties.


These results show that dysadherin give rise to properties of CSC in HCC. Therefore, these findings suggest that dysadherin may be a potential molecular prognostic marker of HCC and may aid in the development of more effective therapies.

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