Expression and clinical implications of HAb18G/CD147 in hepatocellular carcinoma

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HAb18G/CD147 is an important factor in invasion and metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the clinical implications of HAb18G/CD147 expression in HCC are still unclear. In this study, we clarify the clinical significance of HAb18G/CD147. We characterize the association between HAb18G/CD147 expression and presentation of fibrosis or chronic hepatitis B, as well as its effect on HCC development.


The expression of HAb18G/CD147 in human hepatocarcinoma cell lines was analyzed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and western blotting. Tumor tissues were obtained from HCC patients who underwent surgical resection between 2002 and 2006. All patients who had received previous therapy were excluded. HCC tissues were analyzed by immunohistochemistry using anti-HAb18G/CD147.


HAb18G/CD147 was widely expressed in Hep-G2, SMCC-7721 and BEL7402 cell lines, but not expressed in L-02, a human normal hepatic cell line. HAb18G/CD147 was mainly localized to the membrane of tumor cells in 74.0% (37/50) HCC patients. We found that higher HAb18G/CD147 expression and poor tumor differentiation were correlated with patient survival (P = 0.026 and P = 0.014, respectively). Furthermore, the distribution of HAb18G/CD147 was similar to that of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, but negatively related to hepatic cirrhosis.


HAb18G/CD147 has shown its potentials in HCC development and patient survival. Moreover, it may also cooperate with chronic HBV infection and cirrhosis during HCC development. Its functions in the two factors may be different. Therefore, HAb18G/CD147 may be a marker for poor prognosis in HCC patients and could be a useful therapeutic target for interfering with or reversing HCC progression.

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