Background: This study aimed to evaluate the expression level of runt-related transcription factor 3 (RUNX3) in human primary hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) and its relationship with the clinic pathological features.
Methods: RUNX3 expression was analyzed by real-time fluorescent quantitative PCR, immunohistochemistry and Western blotting in HCC cells and tissues.
Results: RUNX3 mRNA and protein expression was decreased in HCC tissues compared with the adjacent normal tissues (P< 0.001), mRNA frequently being down-regulated in HCC cell lines (66.7%, 4/6). Low expression of RUNX3 showed a significant correlation with cirrhosis (P = 0.028), histologic type (P = 0.000) and lymph node metastasis (P = 0.004).
Conclusion: RUNX3 expression is deleted or decreased in HCCs and cell lines, in association with progression and prognosis.