High MAST2 mRNA expression and its role in diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer

Sci Rep. 2019 Dec 27;9(1):19865. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-56476-x.


Liver cancer is a high morbidity and low survival disease all over the world. Chromosomal instability is hallmark of liver cancer. Microtubule-associated serine and threonine kinase 2 (MAST2), as a microtubule associated protein, may involve in tumorous chromosomal instability and plays important roles in cell proliferation and survival. The role of MAST2 in liver cancer has not been well elucidated, which is the aim of our study. In this study, The Cancer Genome Atlas database was used to study the MAST2 mRNA expression in liver cancer, and Chi-squared tests were performed to test the correlation between clinical features and MAST2 expression. ROC curve was performed to examined the diagnostic capacity. The prognostic value of MAST2 in liver cancer was assessed through Kaplan-Meier curves as well as Cox analysis. Our results showed MAST2 was upregulated in liver cancer, and the area under the curve (AUC) was 0.925 and indicated powerful diagnostic capability. High MAST2 expression was associated with advanced clinical status such as histological type (p = 0.0059), histologic grade (p = 0.0142), stage (p = 0.0008), T classification (p = 0.0028), N classification (p = 0.0107), survival status (p = 0.0062), and poor prognosis of patients. Importantly, MAST2 was an independent risk factor for patients' prognosis after adjusting for other risk factors including stage, T classification, and residual tumor. In total, MAST2 is a potential diagnostic and prognostic biomarker of liver cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / physiology
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / genetics
  • Liver Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / genetics
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism*
  • Middle Aged
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • ROC Curve


  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • MAST2 protein, human
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases