Emerging role of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma in hepatocellular carcinoma
Hui-Tzu Hsu,1 Chin-Wen Chi1,2
1Department and Institute of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan; 2Department of Medical Research, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
Abstract: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the major leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, alcohol consumption, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and diabetes are the major risks for developing HCC. Until now, recurrence and metastasis are the major cause of death in HCC patients. Therefore, identification of new effective molecular targets is an urgent need for treatment of HCC. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) is a ligand-activated nuclear receptor which could be activated by PPARγ agonists such as thiazolidinediones, and natural PPARγ ligand (such as 15-deoxy-∆12,14-prostaglandin J2, 15d-PGJ2). Increasing in vitro and in vivo evidence has demonstrated that PPARγ agonists exhibit an inhibitory role on tumor cell growth, migration, and invasion, suggesting that PPARγ activation may play an important role in the regulation of growth of HCC. It has been reported that PPARγ activation by thiazolidinediones or overexpression of PPARγ by virus-mediated gene transfer has shown growth inhibitory effects in hepatoma cells, but the expression level of PPARγ in HCC tissues still remains conflicting. Notably, a novel PPARγ agonist, honokiol, has recently been found to activate the PPARγ /RXR heterodimer, and has also exhibited significant anti-cancer effects in hepatoma cells. In the present review, we summarized studies on the role and the molecular regulation of PPARγ in HCC development in vitro and in vivo. PPARγ has the potential to be a therapeutic target for future treatment of HCC.
Keywords: hepatocellular carcinoma, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ, thiazolidinediones, honokiol, microRNA
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