Overexpression of Abl2 predicts poor prognosis in hepatocellular carcinomas and is associated with cancer cell migration and invasion
Quan-tai Xing, Chun-mei Qu, Gang Wang
Department of Infectious Diseases, Qilu Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan, People's Republic of China
Introduction: Abl2 nonreceptor tyrosine kinase (Arg, c-abl oncogene 2) has recently been identified as being recurrently amplified at DNA levels and overexpressed at mRNA levels in hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs), and might be a potential oncogenic driver and therapeutic target for HCC.
Methods: In this study, we investigated the Abl2 expression in a series of HCC tumors by immunohistochemistry and further evaluated its clinicopathological and prognostic significance. We also performed an in vitro experiment to validate the effect of Abl2 gene silencing on the migration and invasion abilities of human liver cancer HepG2 cells.
Results: It has been demonstrated that Abl2 was unregulated in 37.3% (28/75) of primary HCC tissues, and was significantly associated with a shorter overall survival time (P=0.0005). In addition, Abl2 gene silencing in HepG2 cells significantly attenuated its migration and invasion abilities in vitro. We also found that the phosphorylation of metastasis-associated gene cortactin was markedly decreased by Abl2 silencing.
Conclusion: We propose that Abl2 might be a potential candidate therapeutic target for HCCs and that targeted therapies against Abl2 in the treatment of HCCs deserve further investigation in the future.
Keywords: Abl2, Arg, HCC, metastasis, prognosis