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Jing Jin 1 Article
Nuclear Expression of Hepatitis B Virus X Protein Is Associated with Recurrence of Early-Stage Hepatocellular Carcinomas: Role of Viral Protein in Tumor Recurrence
Jing Jin, Hae Yoen Jung, KyuHo Lee, Nam-Joon Yi, Kyung-Suk Suh, Ja-June Jang, Kyoung-Bun Lee
J Pathol Transl Med. 2016;50(3):181-189.   Published online April 17, 2016
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) plays well-known roles in tumorigenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in infected patients. However, HBV-associated protein status in tumor tissues and the relevance to tumor behavior has not been reported. Our study aimed to examine the expression of HBV-associated proteins in HCC and adjacent nontumorous tissue and their clinicopathologic implication in HCC patients.
HBV surface antigen (HBsAg), HBV core antigen (HBcAg), and HBV X protein (HBx) were assessed in 328 HBV-associated HCCs and in 155 matched nontumorous tissues by immunohistochemistry staining.
The positive rates of HBsAg and cytoplasmic HBx staining in tumor tissue were lower than those in nontumorous tissue (7.3% vs. 57.4%, p < .001; 43.4% vs. 81.3%, p < .001). Conversely, nuclear HBx was detected more frequently in tumors than in nontumorous tissue (52.1% vs. 30.3%, p < .001). HCCs expressing HBsAg, HBcAg, or cytoplasmic HBx had smaller size; lower Edmondson-Steiner (ES) nuclear grade, pT stage, and serum alpha-fetoprotein, and less angioinvasion than HCCs not expressing HBV-associated proteins. Exceptionally, nuclear HBx-positive HCCs showed higher ES nuclear grade and more frequent large-vessel invasion than did nuclear HBx-negative HCCs. In survival analysis, only nuclear HBx-positive HCCs had shorter disease-free survival than nuclear HBx-negative HCCs in pT1 and ES nuclear grade 1–2 HCC subgroup (median, 126 months vs. 35 months; p = .015).
Our data confirmed that expression of normal HBV-associated proteins generally decreases in tumor cells in comparison to nontumorous hepatocytes, with the exception of nuclear HBx, which suggests that nuclear HBx plays a role in recurrence of well-differentiated and early-stage HCCs.


Citations to this article as recorded by  
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  • Hepatitis B virus surface gene pre-S2mutant as a high-risk serum marker for hepatoma recurrence after curative hepatic resection
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    Hepatology.2018; 68(3): 815.     CrossRef
  • Integrin α6 as an invasiveness marker for hepatitis B viral X-driven hepatocellular carcinoma
    Yi Rang Kim, Mi Ran Byun, Jin Woo Choi
    Cancer Biomarkers.2018; 23(1): 135.     CrossRef

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