Down-regulation of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfotransferase gene in human hepatocellular carcinoma

Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2005 Feb 28;231(1-2):87-94. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2004.10.002. Epub 2004 Dec 8.


Differential display (DD) PCR cloning of differentially expressed genes in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and adjacent unaffected tissue demonstrated preferential down-regulation of a vital sex steroid precursor (dehydroepiandrosterone sulfotransferase; DHEA-ST; SULT2A1) in HCC. SULT2A1 mRNA and/or protein expression in HCC were markedly reduced in 61 of 120 (50.8%) primary unicentric HCCs. The down-regulation was more frequent in grade III versus grade I HCC (68.1% versus 32.1%, P = 0.0025), and in stage 3 versus stage 1 HCC (62.7% versus 29.2%, P = 0.007). The lowered expression in tumor cells of SULT2A1 in HCC tissues involved in metabolism and/or inactivation of sex steroids is consistent with a regulatory role of the SULT2A1 gene product in the development and/or tumor cell differentiation and progression of human HCC. This suggestion is partly supported by our observations that the down-regulated SULT2A1 gene expression correlated with a higher grade and stage of HCC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / enzymology*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / etiology
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Disease Progression
  • Down-Regulation / genetics*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Sulfotransferases / analysis
  • Sulfotransferases / genetics*


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Sulfotransferases
  • dehydroepiandrosterone sulfotransferase