Spalt-like transcriptional factor 4 (SALL4), a stem marker, is reactivated in several cancers. A previous study has demonstrated that SALL4 interacts with the nucleosome remodeling deacetylase complex, which contains histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1) and histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2). In this study, we investigated the expression status of SALL4, HDAC1, and HDAC2 and their relationship with phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) by immunohistochemical analysis of the posthepatectomy specimens of 135 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma who were treated at our hospital. Ninety-two frozen samples were subjected to quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction analysis to detect the messenger RNA levels of PTEN. Seventy-six (56%) of 135 patients were positive for SALL4, and this group had a higher prevalence of hepatitis B antigen, a higher value of α-fetoprotein (AFP) and protein induced by vitamin K absence (PIVKAII) and poor histologic differentiation. The 5-year survival rate was significantly lower in the SALL4-positive group. High HDAC1 expression (51%) was correlated with a poor histologic differentiation and a poor prognosis. High HDAC2 expression (46%) was associated with a higher prevalence of hepatitis B antigen positivity, a poor histologic differentiation and higher prevalence of vascular invasion, and a lower 5-year survival rate. Coexpression of SALL4 with HDAC1 and/or HDAC2 was correlated with underexpression of PTEN. Moreover, multivariable analysis revealed that coexpression of SALL4 with HDAC1 and/or HDAC2 was predictive of an unfavorable prognosis. Our data thus suggested that the combination of SALL4, HDAC1, and HDAC2 may provide a potential target for molecular therapy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine