, Volume 132, Issue 10, pp 627-633
Date: 30 Jun 2006

Expression and prognostic role of RhoA GTPases in hepatocellular carcinoma

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The Rho sub-family of proteins is involved in regulating the organization of the cytoskeleton and in cell motility. Our aim is to clarify the clinical significance of Rho protein in hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC) and to determine the relationship between the level of expression and patient outcome following hepatectomy. The expression of RhoA protein in HCC and corresponding non-tumor tissues of 26 patients who underwent surgical resection was analyzed by immunoblotting. The expression level of each case was calculated as tumor/non-tumor (T/N) ratios. High expression (T/N≥1) of RhoA protein in HCC compared to the paired non-tumor tissues was recognized in 18 patients (69.2%) of 26 samples. The activity of RhoA is also increased in HCC with high expression of RhoA. The high expression of RhoA protein did not correlate with various clinical parameters. However, the disease-free survival rates of the RhoA-high expression group (T/N≥1) were significantly lower than those of the RhoA-low expression group (T/N<1) (P<0.05). The high expression of RhoA protein in HCC plays an important role in intrahepatic recurrence of patients who underwent a hepatectomy for HCC, and RhoA is a useful marker for predicting early recurrence in an early-stage HCC.