Article Abstract

Clinicopathologic correlations of Golgi protein 73 and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 expression in hepatocellular carcinoma

Authors: Huayu Yang, Haifeng Xu, Yanan Wang, Jinchun Zhang, Xinting Sang, Yilei Mao


Background: To study whether there is correlation between the expressions of Golgi protein 73 (GP73) as well as signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) and the prognosis in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients.
Methods: Expression levels of GP73 and STAT3 were assessed in HCC tumor tissues from those who underwent hepatectomy in Peking Union Medical College Hospital. Relationships between clinicopathologic features and GP73/STAT3 protein expression levels were analyzed by Chi-square test. Kaplan–Meier method was employed to evaluate survival, whereas the log-rank test was employed to compare the survival differences between several groups.
Results: In HCC tumors, the median level of Golgi Protein 73 protein was 4.0 (2.1–5.3) RU, while the median STAT3 protein level was 1.2 (0.4–2.1) RU; both of which were significantly elevated compare to those in normal liver (NL) tissue [1.6 (1.3–2.1) RU, P<0.001, 0.7 (0.5–1.3) RU, P<0.001, respectively]. Additionally, GP73 protein levels were significantly decreased in patients without vein invasion compare to those of patients with vein invasion [3.3 (1.7–4.9) vs. 4.7 (4.4–5.7) RU, P<0.05]. The expressions of STAT3 in patients with HCC were associated with the size of tumor, differentiation, and vein invasion. Survival analysis showed that the mean disease free survival (DFS) time was notably decreased in patients with high GP73 expression (857±141 days, P<0.05) compared with patients of low GP73 expression (1,019±148 days). STAT3 expression in HCC tissues was related with DFS and overall survival (OS), with a Pearson correlation of −0.374 (P<0.01) and −0.501 (P<0.05), respectively. High STAT3 expression in HCC tissues could be associated to a worse prognosis. In patients with different STAT3 expression, a high expression of GP73 protein was associated with a short DFS.
Conclusions: GP73 and STAT3 have different roles in different stages of tumor progression in HCC patients.