Background: Activation of stress-activated protein kinase/c-Jun N-terminal kinase was inhibited in cells, in which heat shock protein70 was induced to a high level, indicating that heat shock protein70 might be anti-apoptosis protein.
Aim: We examined the expression of heat shock protein70 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase signal transduction pathway in human liver carcinoma to explore their relationship and clinical parameters.
Patients and methods: The expression of heat shock protein70, c-Jun N-terminal kinase1, c-Jun N-terminal kinase2 and c-Jun were detected immunohistochemically in 62 samples of liver cancer. Western blot was used to confirm immunostaining results.
Results: Heat shock protein70 expression showed a positive correlation with the malignant differentiation in liver carcinoma (r=0.449, P<0.0005). The expression of c-Jun N-terminal kinase1, c-Jun N-terminal kinase2, and c-Jun showed a negative correlation with the malignant differentiation in liver carcinoma (r=-0.351, P=0.005; r=-0.303, P=0.017; r=-0.302, P=0.017). Heat shock protein70 expression was correlated with c-Jun N-terminal kinase1 (r=-0.385, P=0.002), c-Jun N-terminal kinase2 (r=-0.309, P=0.015) and c-Jun (r=-0.302, P=0.017). Expression of heat shock protein70, as well as c-Jun N-terminal kinase1, was correlated with recurrence-free survival after the resection. Heat shock protein70 was associated with prognosis (P=0.004).
Conclusion: Expression of heat shock protein70 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase-related proteins might be an indicator of malignant potential in liver carcinoma. The balance between heat shock protein70 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase-related protein may increase the stability of liver cancer cells in stress. Negative expression of heat shock protein70 might be a protective factor of recurrence of liver carcinoma.