Angiopoietin-like protein 3 and 4 expression 4 and their serum levels in hepatocellular carcinoma

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Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the 6th most common cancer and the 3rd leading cause of cancer causing death allover the world. The aim of this research to explore the clinical relevance of blood angiopoietin-like protein-3 (ANGPTL3) and ANGPTL4 expression and their proteins levels as non invasive biomarkers in cirrhotic and HCC patients and their influence on the clinicopathological features of HCC.

Material and methods

This work comprised 200 patients with chronic hepatitis (120 cases complicated with cirrhosis, 80 patients with primary HCC) and 100 controls. circulating ANGPTL3 and ANGPTL4 expression was estimated by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). ANGPTL3 and ANGPTL4 protein levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).


The circulating ANGPTL3 and ANGPTL 4 expression was significantly elevated in HCC cases compared to chronic hepatitis patients and controls. There were much more serum ANGPTL3 and ANGPTL4 values in HCC and chronic hepatitis patients as compared to controls, but we couldn’t detect this significance between chronic hepatitis and HCC cases as regards ANGPTL4. By Multiple stepwise linear regression analysis, an increased ANGPTL3 expression, alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), serum ANGPTL 3 levels, Child–Pugh grade were significantly assosciatedassociated with increased risk of HCC. Logistic regression analysis revealed that ANGPTL 3 expression and AFP levels were the only pridectorspredictors of HCC (odd's ratio (OR) = 8.9; 8.6 respectively, P = 0.003). Receiver operator characteristic (ROC) demonsterated that serum ANGPTL3 and ANGPTL4 levels were usufuluseful biomarkers discriminating chronic hepatitis cases from controls (AUC = 0.820,0.887, respectively P < 0.001). However, they fail to discriminate HCC patients from chronic hepatitis patients (P = 0.27,0.12 respectively). Moreover, ANGPTL3 and ANGPTL 4 expression were promising biomarkers discriminating chronic hepatitis cases from controls and those HCC cases from chronic hepatitis patients (P < 0.001). Combined ANGPTL3 expression and serum level wasn’t useful in discriminating HCC patient from chronic hepatitis (P = 0.09). In contrast, combined ANGPTL4 expression and serum level was an useful biomarker discriminating HCC cases from chronic hepatitis.


ANGPTL3 and ANGPTL 4 expression and serum levels can be promising non invasive biomarkers in diagnosis of chronic hepatitis and HCC especially their expression could be useful in discriminating HCC from chronic hepatitis patients.

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