Copyright ©The Author(s) 2015. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Nov 14, 2015; 21(42): 12150-12156
Published online Nov 14, 2015. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i42.12150
Oncogenic role of p21 in hepatocarcinogenesis suggests a new treatment strategy
Shogo Ohkoshi, Masahiko Yano, Yasunobu Matsuda
Shogo Ohkoshi, Department of Internal Medicine, School of Life Dentistry at Niigata, The Nippon Dental University, Chuo-ku, Niigata 951-8580, Japan
Masahiko Yano, Yasunobu Matsuda, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences Niigata University, Niigata 951-8520, Japan
Author contributions: Ohkoshi S wrote the paper; Yano M performed research; Matsuda Y analyzed the data.
Supported by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C) (22590722 for Ohkoshi S) from the Japan Society for the promotion of Science (JSPS).
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Correspondence to: Shogo Ohkoshi, MD, PhD, Professor of Internal Medicine, School of Life Dentistry at Niigata, The Nippon Dental University, 1-8Hamaura-Cho, Chuo-ku, Niigata 951-8580, Japan.
Telephone: +81-25-2118243 Fax: +81-25-2671582
Received: March 30, 2015
Peer-review started: March 31, 2015
First decision: May 18, 2015
Revised: May 30, 2015
Accepted: August 31, 2015
Article in press: August 31, 2015
Published online: November 14, 2015
Core Tip

Core tip: A well-known tumor suppressor, p21, can act paradoxically by promoting tumor growth, depending on its subcellular localization. Nuclear p21 may inhibit cell proliferation while cytoplasmic p21 may be associated with anti-apoptotic and oncogenic functions. These conflicting roles are reviewed in the context of the HBx gene and hepatocarcinogenesis. Because most tumor suppressors act in a similar manner to p21, regulation of their nucleo-cytoplasmic export, which is mainly effected via chromosome region maintenance 1, may be a basis for developing a new strategy for anti-hepatocellular carcinoma therapy.