Published online Mar 28, 2012. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v18.i12.1328
Revised: January 18, 2012
Accepted: February 8, 2012
Published online: March 28, 2012
AIM: To investigate the expression and clinical significance of Wnt member 5a (Wnt5a) and receptor tyrosine kinase-like orphan receptor 2 (Ror2) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
METHODS: HCC tissues obtained from 85 patients were examined the mRNA expression of Ror2 by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and the protein expressions of Wnt5a, Ror2, β-catenin and Ki-67 via immunohistochemical staining. The correlation between protein expression and HCC patients’ clinicopathology data and prognoses were analyzed.
RESULTS: Compared to nontumorous (hepatitis or cirrhotic) tissues, Ror2 mRNA expression was clearly decreased in HCC. Ror2 and Wnt5a protein expressions in the majority of HCC patients (63% and 77%, respectively) was significantly less in tumor tissues, as compared to adjacent nontumorous tissues, and this reduction was correlated with increasing serum α-fetoprotein and tumor stage. In 68% (58/85) of the HCC cases, the expression of β-catenin in tumor tissues was either downregulated in the cellular membrane, upregulated in the cytoplasm, or both. Survival analysis indicated that Wnt5a and Ror2 protein expressions could be regarded as independent prognostic factors for HCC; HCC patients with decreased Wnt5a or Ror2 protein expression had a poorer prognosis than those with elevated Wnt5a and Ror2 expression (P = 0.016, P = 0.007, respectively).
CONCLUSION: Wnt5a and Ror2 may serve as tumor suppressor genes in the development of HCC, and may serve as clinicopathologic biomarkers for prognosis in HCC patients.