NDRG1 as a biomarker for metastasis, recurrence and of poor prognosis in hepatocellular carcinoma

Cancer Lett. 2011 Nov 1;310(1):35-45. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2011.06.001. Epub 2011 Jun 24.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology
  • Cell Cycle
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Hep G2 Cells
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / genetics
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism*
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver / surgery
  • Liver Neoplasms / genetics
  • Liver Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Liver Transplantation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Prognosis
  • RNA Interference
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Survival Analysis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • N-myc downstream-regulated gene 1 protein