The human growth factor receptor-bound protein 7 (Grb7) is an adaptor molecule and is related to cell invasion. In this present study, we investigated the clinical and biological significance of Grb7 expression in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We reviewed 64 consecutive patients who had undergone liver resection for HCC, and we investigated the correlation between Grb7 expression and clinical outcome. To analyze the biological behavior of Grb7 in vitro and in vivo, we established Grb7 stable knockdown HCC cells using RNA interference technology. The positive staining of Grb7 protein was correlated with portal venous invasion (P < 0.01), hepatic venous invasion (P < 0.01), and intrahepatic metastasis (P < 0.05). Positive expression of Grb7 was significantly correlated with focal adhesion kinase (FAK) protein levels in HCC (P < 0.01). The Grb7- and FAK-positive group showed a significantly poorer prognosis as compared with the Grb7- and FAK-negative group (P < 0.05). Grb7 knockdown HCC cells exhibited significantly lower levels of invasion potential (P < 0.05) and motility (P < 0.05) than the control cells in vitro; moreover, Grb7 knockdown HCC cells showed delayed onset of the tumors compared with the control cells in vivo. Grb7 expression can modulate the invasive phenotype of HCC. Grb7 plays an important role in HCC progression and is strongly associated with expression of FAK. Grb7 could be a therapeutic target in HCC.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cancer Research