Molecular cloning and characterization of a novel gene which is highly expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma

Oncogene. 2002 Jul 25;21(32):4932-43. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1205652.


To gain new insight into the molecular mechanism underlying the pathogenesis of human primary hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), we searched for HCC-specific molecules through screening genes that are differentially expressed between cancerous and noncancerous counterparts of liver and identified a novel HCC-associated gene, HCCA1 encoding a approximately 80 kDa cytoplasmic protein that contains several proline-rich motifs likely for SH3-binding. HCCA1 transcript, albeit present in some adult tissues, is up-regulated selectively in HCC but not in other tumor cells. High expression of HCCA1 occurs as a late event frequently (89.2%) in HCCs and correlated significantly with the degree of tumor progression. When treated with antisense oligonucleotides to HCCA1, HCCA1 expression in HCC cells (HuH-7) was effectively suppressed and cell growth was down-regulated in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, HuH-7 cells harboring the HCCA1 antisense expression clone displayed a remarkably reduced efficiency in colony formation. Together, these data strongly suggest that HCCA1 is a positive effector in cell proliferation and contributes to HCC carcinogenesis and progression. We believe that this protein will serve as a novel useful marker for HCC and is a potential target for pharmaceutical intervention of this malignant disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology
  • Cell Division / genetics
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Proteins / genetics*
  • Up-Regulation


  • HCCA1 protein, human
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense
  • Proteins

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF203474