Association of APC Expression with Its Promoter Methylation Status and the Prognosis of Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Gerontology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Wannan Medical College, Wuhu, Anhui, China.

2 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Wannan Medical College, Wuhu, Anhui, China.

3 Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, e First Affiliated Hospital of Wannan Medical College, Wuhu, Anhui, China.


Objective: The present study was aimed to investigate the APC expression, its promoter methylation status, the expression of β-Catenin, c-Myc and Cyclin D1 and further explore their prognostic value in Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Patients And Methods: Serum samples from 90 HCC patients and 27 healthy donors were collected in this study. The methylation-specific PCR (MSP) was performed to evaluate promoter methylation status of APC gene. RT-qPCR was used to detect the mRNA expression of APC, β-Catenin, c-Myc and Cyclin D1, meanwhile the protein expression were analyzed by Western blot. Results: The positive rate of APC gene methylation in HCC patients (46.67%) was higher than healthy donors (11.11%). APC gene exhibited marked hypermethylation in the patients of TNM III-IV stage when compared to the patients of TNM I-II stage , the methylation status of APC gene was correlated with tumor size and lymph node metastasis whereas the APC gene methylation showed no relationship with the patient’s sex and age. APC methylation may be associated with APC expression level, APC expression in HCC cells is silenced by aberrant promoter hypermethylation. In HCC patients with methylated APC, the mRNA and protein expression of β-Catenin, c-Myc and Cyclin D1 were higher than the unmethylated patient subgroup and healthy donors. Conclutions: The downregulation of APC in HCC samples was associated with promoter hypermethylation. APC methylation could be used as a novel diagnostic biomarker in HCC, which was associated with regulation of Wnt/β-Catenin signal pathway. 


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