Serine protease HtrA1 expression in human hepatocellular carcinoma.

Hepatobiliary & pancreatic diseases international : HBPD INT

PubMedID: 20943460

Zhu F, Jin L, Luo TP, Luo GH, Tan Y, Qin XH. Serine protease HtrA1 expression in human hepatocellular carcinoma. HBPD INT. 2010;9(5):508-12.
BACKGROUND
HtrA1, a serine protease, is down-regulated in various human solid tumors. Overexpression of HtrA1 in human cancer cells inhibits cell growth and proliferation in vitro and in vivo, suggesting its possible role as a tumor suppressor.

METHODS
Immunohistochemistry was used to determine the expression of HtrA1 in 50 hepatocellular carcinoma specimens and adjacent liver tissues. The correlation between the expression of HtrA1 and the clinico-pathologic data were analyzed.

RESULTS
The levels of HtrA1 were lower in tumor tissues than in their adjacent liver tissues. Moreover, an inverse relationship was found between HtrA1 expression and the differentiation of hepatocellular carcinoma. Loss of HtrA1 was more frequently found in tumors in Edmondson grade III-IV, especially in those with venous invasion, compared to tumors in Edmondson grade I-II. Most importantly, patients with higher HtrA1 expression had a better survival rate.

CONCLUSION
All these data suggest an important role of HtrA1 in hepatocellular carcinoma development and progression, which may be a new target for its treatment.