European journal of medical research

Expressions of heparanase and upstream stimulatory factor in hepatocellular carcinoma.

PMID 25149140


The expression of heparanase (HPSE) was associated with postoperative metastatic recurrence in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The six E-box binding sites in the core promoter of the HPSE gene suggested that transcription factors of E-box such as upstream stimulatory factor (USF) might regulate the transcription of the HPSE gene. The aim of our study is to measure the levels of HPSE and USF expression and investigate the relationship between USF expression and clinicopathological parameters in patients with HCC. HPSE, USF1 and USF2 expressions in human HCC cell lines (BEL-7402, HepG2 and HCCLM3) and 15 fresh human HCC tissue samples were measured by real-time reverse transcriptase-PCR and Western blot analysis. The normal liver cell line QSG7701 or fresh normal liver tissue samples obtained from 15 additional surgical patients with hepatic rupture was used as a control. The protein expressions were determined by immunohistochemistry in paraffin-embedded human HCC tissues and corresponding non-neoplastic tumor surrounding tissues (NTST) of 57 patients. HPSE, USF1 and USF2 mRNA expressions were increased in HCC cell lines and HCC tissues compared with normal liver cell line and normal liver tissue. The protein expressions of HPSE, USF1 and USF2 in HCC cell lines and HCC tissues were also increased. Both USF1 and USF2 expressions were positively correlated with HPSE. USF1 and USF2 expressions were increased in patients with liver cirrhosis, worse tissue differentiation, advanced HCC stages and metastatic recurrence. Increased USF in HCC is associated with HPSE expression. USF might be an important factor in regulating HPSE expression and act as a novel marker of metastatic recurrence of HCC patients.