Oncology letters

Aberrant expression of melanoma-associated antigen-D2 serves as a prognostic indicator of hepatocellular carcinoma outcome following curative hepatectomy.

PMID 25663882


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common cause of cancer-related mortality globally. Since the prognosis of advanced HCC patients is extremely poor, the development of novel molecular targets for diagnosis and therapy is urgently required. In the present study, the expression of the melanoma-associated antigen-D2 (MAGE-D2) gene was investigated to determine whether it affects the malignant phenotype of HCC and thus, may serve as a marker of prognosis. Therefore, the expression of MAGE-D2 mRNA and MAGE-D2 protein in nine HCC cell lines and 151 pairs of surgical tissues was analyzed. mRNA expression levels were analyzed using reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry was used to compare the clinicopathological parameters of the tumors. A significant difference in the level of MAGE-D2 expression was observed between the normal liver and chronic hepatitis tissues, however, no significant differences were identified among the levels of the chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis and HCC tissues. The expression patterns of the MAGE-D2 protein were consistent with those of its mRNA. The expression levels of MAGE-D2 mRNA in 66 of 151 (44%) patients were higher in the HCC tissues compared with the corresponding non-cancerous tissues. In addition, the disease-specific survival time was significantly shorter for patients with higher levels of MAGE-D2 mRNA expression. Multivariate analysis identified increased expression of MAGE-D2 mRNA as an independent prognostic factor for disease-specific survival (hazard ratio, 2.65; 95% confidence interval, 1.43-4.98; P=0.002). However, increased expression levels of MAGE-D2 mRNA were not significantly associated with other clinicopathological parameters, including extrahepatic recurrence. These results indicated that MAGE-D2 mRNA affects tumor progression and may serve as a prognostic indicator following curative resection. In addition, MAGE-D2 may provide a target for the therapy of HCC.