N-myc downstream-regulated gene 1 (NDRG1) has been reported to be a multifunctional protein associated with carcinogenesis, however, the cellular function of NDRG1 remains elusive in human cancers. Here, our proteomics profile analysis of HCC tissues with different metastatic capabilities revealed that NDRG1 was correlated with metastasis and recurrence in HCC patients after liver transplantation (LT). Immunohistochemical staining of 143 HCC patients after LT showed that NDRG1-positive expression had poor prognosis, either for shorter disease-free survival or overall survival (P < 0.001), compared with NDRG1-negative expression. Multivariate analysis confirmed NDRG1 as an independent prognostic value (P < 0.001). In addition, in vitro experiments HCC cells with small interfering RNA against NDRG1 significantly suppressed its proliferation, colony formation, invasion and migration ability. Microarray analysis revealed that NDRG1 modulated the expression of genes associated with transmembrane transporter activity, chemoattractant activity, immune response, cell adhesion and cell proliferation process. Taken together, these results suggested that NDRG1 was an important molecule in controlling HCC metastasis and thus suggested as a novel biomarker for predicting HCC recurrence after LT.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.