Des-γ-carboxy prothrombin and c-Met were concurrently and extensively expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma and associated with tumor recurrence

Biosci Trends. 2012 Aug;6(4):153-9. doi: 10.5582/bst.2012.v6.4.153.


The aim of this study was to investigate co-expression of des-γ-carboxy prothrombin (DCP) and c-Met in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and its significance in predicting tumor recurrence after surgical resection. Immunohistochemical techniques were used to examine DCP and c-Met expression in HCC samples collected from 153 patients. DCP and c-Met staining were observed in tumor areas in 63.4% (97/153) and 66.7% (102/153) of patients, respectively, and these figures are markedly higher than the rates at which adjacent nontumorous areas tested positive of 13.1% (20/154) and 28.8% (44/153). Furthermore, DCP and c-Met were consistently present or absent in HCC regions in 51.0% (78/153) and 20.9% (32/153) of patients, in adjacent nontumorous regions in 7.2% (11/153) and 65.4% (100/153) of patients, and in whole regions including HCC and adjacent nontumorous regions in 58.2% (89/153) and 19.6% (30/153) of patients. These results indicate that DCP and c-Met usually appeared or disappeared in HCC in a parallel manner. c-Met was found to be related to tumor recurrence in patients with HCC. When combined with DCP, c-Met is more effective at predicting non-recurrence of HCC than c-Met alone. Expression of neither DCP nor c-Met in HCC regions and adjacent regions signified a low rate of tumor recurrence after surgical resection. Results of the current study suggested that DCP and c-Met are commonly and concurrently expressed in HCC and their absence is associated with a low risk of tumor recurrence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / metabolism*
  • Protein Precursors / metabolism*
  • Prothrombin / metabolism*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-met / metabolism*
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Protein Precursors
  • acarboxyprothrombin
  • Prothrombin
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-met