Expression of Apoptosis- and Vitamin D Pathway-Related Genes in Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Fingas C. D., Altinbas A., Schlattjan M., Beilfuss A., Sowa J., Sydor S., ...More

DIGESTION, vol.87, no.3, pp.176-181, 2013 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 87 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1159/000348441
  • Journal Name: DIGESTION
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.176-181
  • Çukurova University Affiliated: Yes


Background/Aims: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the sixth most common malignancy worldwide and therapeutic options are scarce. As they might represent future targets for cancer therapy, the expression of apoptosis-related genes in HCC is of particular interest. In this pilot study, we further examined apoptosis-related genes in human HCC and also focused on vitamin D signaling as this might be a regulator of HCC cell apoptosis. Methods: We employed tumor tissue and serum samples from 62 HCC patients as well as 62 healthy controls for these studies. Tissue and serum specimens were analyzed by quantitative RT-PCR, immunohistochemistry and ELISA. Results: In HCC patients the apoptosis marker M30 was found to be elevated and several pro-apoptotic (TRAIL, FasL and FasR) as well as anti-apoptotic genes (Mcl-1 and Bcl-2) were simultaneously up-regulated in tumor tissue and especially tumor-surrounding tissue as compared to healthy control livers. Moreover, vitamin D serum levels were decreased in HCC patients whereas vitamin D receptor mRNA expression was increased in tumor tissue and tumor-surrounding tissue as compared to healthy livers. Conclusions: In human HCC, M30 serum levels are elevated indicating an increased cell turnover. Modulation of the vitamin D pathway might be a supportive, pro-apoptotic HCC therapy. Copyright (C) 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel