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Ubiquitin Associated Protein 2-Like (UBAP2L) Overexpression in Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma and its Clinical Significance

Wei Wang, Min Zhang, Yan Peng, Jie He

(Medical College of Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2017; 23:4779-4788

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.907071

BACKGROUND: Recently, accumulating studies have shown that ubiquitin associated protein 2-like (UBAP2L) is overexpressed in many kinds of malignant tumors, which is closely associated to tumor growth and metastasis. However, the correlations of UBAP2L expression with clinicopathological factors and prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients still remain unclear.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Bioinformatics database (GEO and TCGA) and our own experimental results (including immunohistochemical staining, western blotting and real-time PCR) were analyzed to validate the expression levels of UBAP2L in HCC. Furthermore, Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and Cox multivariate regression model were used to demonstrate the associations of UBAP2L expression with clinicopathological factors and prognosis of HCC patients. Additionally, the potential underlying mechanisms associated to angiogenesis were preliminarily explored.
RESULTS: Compared to the normal group, UBAP2L was significantly highly expressed in HCC cell lines and tissues. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis revealed that patients with high UBAP2L expression level had dramatically less survival time than those with low UBAP2L expression level (p=0.000). Moreover, multivariate Cox regression analysis showed that UBAP2L high expression was an independently unfavorable prognostic parameter for OS of HCC patients (p=0.000). Additionally, Pearson correlation analysis showed that the relationship between UBAP2L expression and VEGF or MVD was significantly positive, respectively (r=0.460, p=0.000 and r=0.387, p=0.000).
CONCLUSIONS: UBAP2L was overexpressed in HCC, and patients with high UBAP2L expression had unfavorable prognosis. UBAP2L could be a new potential therapeutic target for HCC in the future.

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