Oncology letters

Function of mitochondrial pyruvate carriers in hepatocellular carcinoma patients.

PMID 29805642


Mitochondrial pyruvate carriers (MPC) have been identified as a critical component of energy metabolism in the cancer cells of multiple malignant tumor types. The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between the expression of MPC1 and MPC2 and the prognosis of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). A total of 85 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded HCC tissues were assessed using immunohistochemistry. A further 20 fresh pathological specimens, including cancer and adjacent normal liver tissues from patients who had undergone a hepatectomy, were analyzed using western blotting and reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The relative expression of MPC1 and MPC2 was quantified using Image-Pro Plus software, and the association between MPC expression and clinical outcomes was analyzed by Student's t-test. MPC1 and MPC2 protein expression was significantly downregulated in HCC, but no association was identified between the expression of MPC1 or MPC2 and the clinicopathological characteristics of the patients. MPC1 mRNA levels were decreased in each cancer sample, while a mixture of increased and decreased MPC2 mRNA levels observed in the HCC samples. Multivariate regression analysis indicated that the protein level and the microvascular invasion of MPC1 were positively associated with the recurrence of HCC (P=0.000 and P=0.017, respectively). MPC1 may therefore serve as an attractive biomarker for the identification of patients with HCC at a high risk of recurrence following curative resection.