1. The Second Department of Liver Surgery, Eastern Hepatobiliary Surgery Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, 200438, China.
2. Quan-Yu Cai, Department of Radiology, Eastern Hepatobiliary Surgery Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, 200438, China.
3. Guang-Zhi Jin, Department of Pathology, Eastern Hepatobiliary Surgery Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, 200438, China.
*These first authors contributed equally to this study.
# These corresponding authors contributed equally to this study.
Niemann-Pick C1-like 1 (NPC1L1) and Niemann-Pick C2 (NPC2) is a critical mediator of cholesterol absorption. The aim of the present study was to investigate the prognostic value of NPC1L1 and NPC2 in human primary hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The expression level of NPC1L1 and NPC2 were evaluated by Immunohistochemistry, Westen blot and Real-time Quantitative PCR. Protein expression level in tissue was represented by integral optic density (IOD). For prognosis analyses, outcome-based cut-point was calculated by X-tile software. Kaplan-Meier analysis, Cox regression analysis were used evaluate prognostic value of NPC1L1 and NPC2 and NPC1L1/NPC2 combination. Both of NPC1L1 and NPC2 were significantly decreased in HCC tissues than peritumoral liver tissues (61 pairs of tissue for Immunohistochemistry and 10 pairs of tissues for Western blot and Real-time Quantitative PCR), respectively. (n=61: p=0.0005 for NPC1L1 and p=0.0001 for NPC2; n=10: p=0.0002 for NPC1L1 and p=0.0489 for NPC2). Kaplan-Meier analyses in 265 HCC cases were showed that the low expression level of NPC1L1 and NPC2 and NPC1L1/NPC2 combination were significantly correlated with poor overall survival (OS) and shorter time to recurrence (TTR). In addition, univariate and multivariate Cox analyses showed that the expression level of NPC1L1/NPC2 combination in HCC was an independent prognostic factor for OS and TTR. Conclusion: NPC1L1 and NPC2 were lowly expressed in HCC compared with peritumoral liver tissues, and low expression of NPC1L1 and NPC2 in HCC tissues may indicate poor outcome of HCC patients after surgery. NPC1L1/NPC2 combination is an independent prognostic factor for OS and TTR in postoperative HCC patients.
Keywords: HCC: Hepatocellular Carcinoma, NPC1L1: Niemann-Pick C1-like 1, NPC2: Niemann-Pick C2, FFPE: Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded, IHC: Immunohistochemical, OS: Overall survival, TTR: Time to recurrence.