Expression of CIITA-related MHCII molecules in tumors linked to prognosis in hepatocellular carcinoma

Int J Oncol. 2009 Mar;34(3):681-8. doi: 10.3892/ijo_00000194.


The prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after surgery is poor due to its high recurrence rate. In order to unfold the mechanism of different recurrent-free survival (RFS) times following resection, expression profiling of tumor tissues from 32 HCC patients with different RFS time were used to identify differential expression of individual genes and signaling pathway components correlated with RFS time. Quantitative RT-PCR, Western blotting, and immunohistochemistry were used to validate the expression of selected genes. Up-regulation of several immune related genes and pathways, especially HLA II-related antigen presenting pathways, significantly correlated with longer RFS time. The expression of MHCII molecules were found to be mainly located in either CD68+ cells or CD45+ cells, and their expression significantly correlated with the expression of CIITA (HLA II genes transactivator) in the tumor. The results suggest that the high expression level of CIITA and MHCII molecules in hepatocellular carcinoma tissue is an effective prognostic marker for longer RFS time in HCC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / biosynthesis
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / immunology
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / immunology
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / metabolism
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Genes, MHC Class II
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Liver Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Liver Neoplasms / immunology
  • Liver Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Male
  • Microarray Analysis
  • Middle Aged
  • Nuclear Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Survival Analysis
  • Trans-Activators / biosynthesis*
  • Trans-Activators / genetics


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • MHC class II transactivator protein
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Trans-Activators