Prognostic significance of kynurenine 3-monooxygenase and effects on proliferation, migration, and invasion of human hepatocellular carcinoma

Sci Rep. 2015 Jun 23;5:10466. doi: 10.1038/srep10466.


Kynurenine 3-monooxygenase (KMO) is a pivotal enzyme in the kynurenine pathway of tryptophan degradation and plays a critical role in Huntington's and Alzheimer's diseases. This study aimed to examine the expression of KMO in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and investigate the relationship between its expression and prognosis of HCC patients. We first analyzed KMO expression in 120 paired HCC samples (HCC tissues vs matched adjacent non-cancerous liver tissues), and 205 clinical HCC specimens using immunohistochemistry (IHC). Kaplan-Meier survival and Cox regression analyses were executed to evaluate the prognosis of HCC. The results of IHC analysis showed that KMO expression was significantly higher in HCC tissues than that in normal liver tissues (all p < 0.05). Survival and recurrence analyses showed that KMO was an independent prognostic factor for overall survival (OS) and time to recurrence (TTR) (both p<0.01). And in vitro studies revealed that KMO positively regulated proliferation, migration, and invasion of HCC cells. These results suggest that KMO exhibits tumor-promoting effects towards HCC and it may serve as a novel prognostic marker in HCC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / enzymology*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement*
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Female
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Humans
  • Kynurenine 3-Monooxygenase / metabolism*
  • Liver Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / enzymology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • RNA, Small Interfering / metabolism
  • Up-Regulation


  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Kynurenine 3-Monooxygenase