Tumor Biology

, Volume 37, Issue 5, pp 6073–6084 | Cite as

CD24 promotes HCC progression via triggering Notch-related EMT and modulation of tumor microenvironment

  • Xin Wan
  • Ci Cheng
  • Qing Shao
  • Zhe Lin
  • Shuai Lu
  • Yun Chen
Original Article


CD24 is known as a cell surface molecule in hematopoiesis and also described as a diagnostic marker for tumors. Previous studies suggested the important role of CD24 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) pathogenesis. However, precise functions of CD24 in HCC are still unknown. Here, we found that CD24 is highly expressed in HCC both in mRNA and protein levels. Further, the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and Notch1 signaling activations mediated by CD24 were elucidated as potential mechanisms of HCC promotion in Hepa1-6/Hepa1-6-CD24 cell models. Additionally, possible systemic immune reaction was explored through immune cells and Hepa1-6/Hepa1-6-CD24 cell co-culture. We demonstrated that the EMT process of HCC cell was effectively induced by CD24; also, the tumor immune microenvironment was changed by facilitating Notch-related EMT in vivo. These results reveal the underlying link between the HCC processes mediated by CD24. Moreover, as a clear tumor promoter, CD24 is considered a potential new target for HCC treatment.


CD24 Epithelial-mesenchymal transition Hepatocellular carcinoma Notch1 Tumor immunity 



This work was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation (30901750, 81272322 to YC), Jiangsu science and technology innovation Program for graduate Research Funds (CXLX13-54 to XW), the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions, Qing Lan Project, Six talent peaks project (JY-018) of Jiangsu Province.

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xin Wan
    • 1
  • Ci Cheng
    • 1
  • Qing Shao
    • 2
  • Zhe Lin
    • 1
  • Shuai Lu
    • 1
  • Yun Chen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ImmunologyNanjing Medical UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Department of OphthalmologyThe First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical UniversityNanjingChina

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