Histone-fold centromere protein W (CENP-W) is associated with the biological behavior of hepatocellular carcinoma cells

Bioengineered. 2020 Dec;11(1):729-742. doi: 10.1080/21655979.2020.1787776.


Centromere protein W (CENP-W), identified as a centromeric component, plays an important role in the cell life cycle. However, how CENPW expression affects biological processes in liver cancer cells remains unknown. In this article, we found that CENPW was overexpressed in liver cancer tissues. Low CENPW expression was correlated with a better prognosis in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients, compared to high CENPW expression. The results of qRT-PCR and western blot assay showed that CENPW was effectively knocked down in HCC cells using siRNA transfection. Cell proliferation, migration, and invasion were inhibited. Cell apoptosis rates were increased. The cells were arrested in the G2/M phase of the cell cycle. Subsequently, 127 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified based on RNA-seq data. GO and KEGG enrichment and PPI network analysis were performed. The novel DEGs were found and mainly enriched in nucleosome assembly and the complement system. In summary, our study indicated that overexpression of CENPW implied unfavorable prognosis and CENPW might be the potential predictive biomarker in liver cancer. Downregulation of CENPW might inhibit the HCC developmentby regulating the expression of the molecules in nucleosomes and the complement system.

Keywords: Centromere protein W; RNA-seq; bioinformatics; hepatocellular carcinoma; predictive biomarker.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / genetics
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Blotting, Western
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / physiopathology*
  • Cell Cycle / genetics
  • Cell Cycle / physiology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Survival / genetics
  • Cell Survival / physiology
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / genetics
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / physiology
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Liver Neoplasms / genetics
  • Liver Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Liver Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • RNA-Seq


  • CENPW protein, human
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone

Grant support

This work was funded by Special Fund for Scientific Research of Guangdong Province of China [Grant No. 2018B030306029].