Feo, Francesco and Frau, Maddalena and Pascale, Rosa Maria (2008) Interaction of major genes predisposing to hepatocellular carcinoma with genes encoding signal transduction pathways influences tumor phenotype and prognosis: Editorial. World Journal of Gastroenterology, Vol. 14 (43), p. 6601-6615. ISSN 1007-9327. Article.
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Studies on rodents and humans demonstrate an inherited predisposition to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Analysis of the molecular alterations involved in the acquisition of a phenotype resistant or susceptible to hepatocarcinogenesis showed a deregulation of G1 and S phases in HCC of genetically susceptible F344 rats and a G1-S block in lesions of resistant Brown norway (BN) rats. Unrestrained extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activity linked to proteasomal degradation of dual-specificity phosphatase 1 (DUSP1), a specific ERK inhibitor, by the CKS1-SKP2 ubiquitin ligase complex occurs in more aggressive HCC of F344 rats and humans. This mechanism is less active in HCC of BN rats and human HCC with better prognosis. Upregulation of iNos cross-talk with IKK/NF-kB and RAS/ERK pathways occurs in rodent liver lesions at higher levels in the most aggressive models represented by HCC of F344 rats and c-Myc-TGF-α transgenic mice. iNOS, IKK/NF-kB, and RAS/ERK upregulation is highest in human HCC with a poorer prognosis and positively correlates with tumor proliferation, genomic instability and microvascularization, and negatively with apoptosis. Thus, cell cycle regulation and the activity of signal transduction pathways seem to be modulated by HCC modifier genes, and differences in their efficiency influence the susceptibility to hepatocarcinogenesis and probably the prognosis of human HCC.
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