BLZF1 expression is of prognostic significance in hepatocellular carcinoma

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2015 Nov 20;467(3):602-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2015.08.119. Epub 2015 Sep 2.


BLZF1, a member of b-ZIP family, has been implicated in epigenetic regulation and Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Its expression and clinical significance in human cancers remain largely unknown. In this study, we showed that BLZF1 expression was reduced in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissues, compared to the paracarcinoma tissues, at both mRNA and protein levels. Results of immunohistochemistry revealed that BLZF1 was presented in both nuclear and cytoplasm. Decreased expression of nuclear and cytosolic BLZF1 in HCC was depicted in 68.2% and 79.2% of the 634 cases. Nuclear BLZF1 expression was significantly associated with tumor multiplicity (P = 0.048) and tumor capsule (P = 0.028), while cytosolic BLZF1 expression was correlated with serum AFP level (P = 0.017), tumor differentiation (P = 0.001) and tumor capsule (P = 0.003). Kaplan-Meier analysis indicated both nuclear and cytosolic BLZF1 expression was associated with poor overall survival. Low nuclear BLZF1 also indicated unfavorable disease-free survival and high tendency of tumor recurrence. Furthermore, multiple Cox regression analysis revealed nuclear BLZF1 as an independent factor for overall survival (Hazard Ratio (HR) = 0.827, 95% confident interval (95%CI): 0.697-0.980, P = 0.029). The prognostic value of BLZF1 was further confirmed by stratified analyses. Collectively, our data suggest BLZF1 is a novel unfavorable biomarker for prognosis of patients with HCC.

Keywords: BLZF1; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Immunohistochemistry; Prognosis.

MeSH terms

  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Prognosis


  • BLZF1 protein, human
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Nuclear Proteins