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Reveal the molecular signatures of hepatocellular carcinoma with different sizes by iTRAQ based quantitative proteomics

Wang, Yingchao, Liu, Hongzhi, Liang, Dong, Huang, Yao, Zeng, Yongyi, Xing, Xiaohua, Xia, Jiangbao, Lin, Minjie, Han, Xiao, Liao, Naishun, Liu, Xiaolong, Liu, Jingfeng
Journal of proteomics 2017 v.150 pp. 230-241
carcinogenesis, hepatoma, metastasis, patients, prediction, prognosis, protein synthesis, proteins, proteome, proteomics, signal transduction
Tumor size of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a key parameter for predicting prognosis of HCC patients. The biological behaviors of HCC, such as tumor growth, recurrence and metastasis are significantly associated with tumor size. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we applied iTRAQ-based proteomic strategy to analyze the proteome differences among small, media, large and huge primary HCC tissues. In brief,88 proteins in small HCC, 69 proteins in media HCC, 118 proteins in large HCC and 215 proteins in huge HCC, were identified by comparing the proteome of cancerous tissues with its corresponding non-cancerous tissues. Further analysis of dysregulated proteins involved in signaling revealed that alteration of ERK1/2 and AKT signaling played important roles in the tumorigenesis or tumor growth in all subtypes. Interestingly, alteration of specific signaling was discovered in small and huge HCC, which might reflect specific molecular mechanisms of tumor growth. Furthermore, the dysregulation degree of a group of proteins has been confirmed to be significantly correlated with the tumor size; these proteins might be potential targets for studying tumor growth of HCC. Overall, we have revealed the molecular signatures of HCC with different tumor sizes, and provided fundamental information for further in-depth study.In this study, we compared the protein expression profiles among different HCC subtypes, including small HCC, media HCC, large HCC and huge HCC for the first time. The results clearly proved that different molecular alterations and specific signaling pathways were indeed involved in different HCC subtypes, which might explain the different malignancy biological behaviors. In addition, the dysregulation degree of a group of proteins has been confirmed to be significantly correlated with the tumor size. We believe that these findings would help us better understand the underlying molecular mechanisms of the tumorigenesis and development of HCC.