Cancer research

Monoclonal antibody targeting of the cell surface molecule TM4SF5 inhibits the growth of hepatocellular carcinoma.

PMID 24802189


The cell surface transmembrane receptor TM4SF5 has been implicated in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), but its candidacy as a therapeutic target has not been evaluated. Building on findings that immunization with a peptide vaccine targeting human TM4SF5 can exert prophylactic and therapeutic effects in a murine model of HCC, we developed a monoclonal antibody to characterize expression of TM4SF5 in HCC and to target its function there as an anticancer strategy. We found that the antibody modulated cell signaling in HCC cells in vitro, reducing cell motility, modulating E-cadherin expression, altering p27(kip1) localization, and increasing RhoA activity. Using a mouse xenograft model of human HCC, we documented the in vivo efficacy of the antibody, which suppressed tumor growth in either tumor prevention or treatment designs. Our work offers a preclinical proof of concept for TM4SF5 as a promising target for antibody therapeutics to treat HCC. Cancer Res; 74(14); 3844-56. ©2014 AACR.