Oncology reports

Overexpression of the RD RNA binding protein in hepatitis C virus-related hepatocellular carcinoma.

PMID 22614758


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) often exhibits a poor prognosis due to metastatic spread caused by portal vein invasion (PVI). In the present study, we attempted to identify a novel therapeutic target related to PVI of HCC. Based on pooled genomic data, we identified RD RNA binding protein (RDBP), a member of the negative elongation factor (NELF) transcription elongation regulatory complex, to be preferentially overexpressed in HCC with PVI. We used quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immuno-histochemical analyses to investigate the relationship between RDBP mRNA and protein with metastatic potential in sample sets of hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related HCC and corresponding non-HCC liver tissues. We also used the small interfering RNA technique to examine the role of RDBP in invasion and proliferation of HCC cells inxa0vitro. Our data showed that both mRNA and protein levels of RDBP were significantly higher in HCC compared to non-HCC liver tissue, and that these levels were also significantly higher in HCC with PVI compared to HCC without PVI. Multivariate analysis revealed that RDBP protein levels were an independent risk factor for early intrahepatic recurrence of HCC within 2 years of surgery. Knockdown of RDBP protein significantly inhibited the proliferation and invasion of cells in vitro. These data demonstrate that RDBP is related to the metastatic potential of HCC, suggesting a possible candidate for prevention of HCC cell metastasis.