International journal of clinical and experimental pathology

GP73 expression and its significance in the diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma: a review.

PMID 23119104


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common malignant tumors, and its incidence has been increasing worldwide. Serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) levels and abdominal ultrasound have been widely used for diagnosis as well as surveillance of HCC. However, the sensitivity and specificity of both AFP levels and ultrasound for HCC surveillance have some shortcomings, particularly in the early stages of the disease. Golgi protein-73 (GP73) is a type II Golgi-localized integral membrane protein that is normally expressed in epithelial cells of many human tissues. It is essential for human survival, and might have multiple roles for GP73 in epithelial cell function such as in the kidney and liver. However, details of its biochemical function and regulation of GP73 expression are unknown at present. GP73 expression is upregulated in serum samples from patients with liver disease, with expression being highest in HCC. Therefore, it may be useful as a new serum marker for detection of HCC in at high-risk population. But, this hypothesis needs to be proven in large cohorts.