Publications by authors named "Ryosuke Muroyama"

45 Publications

Effect of Atezolizumab plus Bevacizumab in Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma Harboring Mutation in Early Clinical Experience.

J Cancer 2022 16;13(8):2656-2661. Epub 2022 May 16.

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Nihon University School of Medicine, 30-1 Oyaguchi-Kamicho, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 173-8610, Japan.

Atezolizumab plus bevacizumab (ATZ/BV) treatment is a combined immunotherapy consisting of immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) and anti-vascular endothelial growth factor monoclonal antibody, which has brought a major paradigm shift in the treatment of unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Gain-of-function mutation of contributes to resistance of ICI monotherapy through the framework of non-T-cell-inflamed tumor microenvironment. However, whether mutation renders resistance to ATZ/BV similar to ICI monotherapy remains to be elucidated. In this study, a liquid biopsy sample in plasma of 33 patients with HCC treated with ATZ/BV was subjected to droplet digital PCR for detecting hotspot mutations at the exon 3 of locus. A total of eight patients (24.2%) exhibited at least one mutation. The objective response rate (ORR) in patients with wild-type (WT) and mutant (MT) was 8.0% and 12.5%, respectively, and the disease control rate (DCR) was 68.0% and 87.5%, respectively. No significant difference in both ORR and DCR has been observed between the two groups. The median progression-free survival in patients with WT and MT was 6.6 and 7.6 months, respectively (not statistically significant). Similarly, no significant difference in overall survival has been observed between patients with WT and MT (13.6 vs. 12.3 months). In conclusion, the treatment effect of ATZ/BV in patients with HCC with MT was comparable to those patients with WT . These results implicate that BV added to ATZ might improve immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment caused by mutation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7150/jca.71494DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9174847PMC
May 2022

Liver biopsy technique in the era of genomic cancer therapies: a single-center retrospective analysis.

Int J Clin Oncol 2022 Jun 15. Epub 2022 Jun 15.

Department of Medical Oncology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan.

Background: With the evolution of personalized medicine in the field of oncology, which includes optimal treatment selection using next-generation sequencing-based companion diagnostic systems and tumor-agnostic treatments according to common biomarkers, a liver tumor biopsy technique that can obtain a sufficient specimen volume must be established. The current study aimed to evaluate the safety and availability of a liver tumor biopsy technique with multiple puncture sites made using a coaxial introducer needle and embolization with gelatin sponge particles.

Methods: Patients with primary or metastatic liver cancer who underwent liver tumor biopsies with puncture tract embolization using gelatin sponge (Spongel) from October 2019 to September 2020 were included in the study. The complication and diagnostic rates were evaluated, and whether the specimen volume was sufficient for Foundation CDx was investigated.

Results: In total, 96 patients were enrolled in this analysis. The median total number of puncture times per patient was 3 (range 1-8). The pathological diagnostic rate was 79.2%. Using the FoundationOne CDx, specimens with a sufficient volume required for genomic medicine were collected in 84.9% of patients. The incidence rate of bleeding was 4.2% (n = 4), and only one patient presented with major bleeding requiring transfusion.

Conclusions: Liver biopsy with puncture tract embolization using a gelatin sponge may be safe and effective for collecting specimens with a volume sufficient for modern cancer treatments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10147-022-02195-9DOI Listing
June 2022

A diet-induced murine model for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease with obesity and insulin resistance that rapidly develops steatohepatitis and fibrosis.

Lab Invest 2022 May 28. Epub 2022 May 28.

Department of Gastroenterology, Chiba University, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba, 260-8677, Japan.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has become the leading cause of chronic liver disease worldwide. Patients with NAFLD often suffer steatohepatitis, which can progress to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. The presence of visceral obesity or type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a major risk factor and potential therapeutic target for NAFLD. The establishment of animal models with these metabolic comorbidities and with the rapid progression of the disease is needed for developing treatments for NAFLD but remains to be archived. In the present study, KK-A mice, widely used as T2DM models, or C57BL6 mice were fed a high-fat, high-fructose, and high-cholesterol diet supplemented with cholic acid (NAFLD diet). The KK-A mice fed a NAFLD diet exhibited remarkable obesity and insulin resistance. A prominent accumulation of triglycerides and cholesterol in the liver was observed at 4 weeks. These mice developed steatohepatitis at 4 weeks and fibrosis at 12 weeks. In contrast, C57BL6 mice fed a NAFLD diet remained lean, although they still developed steatohepatitis and fibrosis. In summary, we established a diet-induced murine NAFLD model with the rapid development of steatohepatitis and fibrosis, bearing obesity and insulin resistance. This model could be useful as preclinical models for drug development of NAFLD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41374-022-00807-6DOI Listing
May 2022

Baseline soluble MICA levels act as a predictive biomarker for the efficacy of regorafenib treatment in colorectal cancer.

BMC Cancer 2022 Apr 20;22(1):428. Epub 2022 Apr 20.

Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Showa University School of Medicine, 1-5-8 Hatanodai, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo, Japan.

Background: To evaluate the effect of regorafenib on soluble MHC class I polypeptide-related sequence A (MICA) (sMICA) level in vitro. In addition, we clinically examined whether its plasma levels were associated with regorafenib activity in terms of progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with CRC.

Methods: Human CRC cell line HCT116 and HT29 cells were treated with regorafenib and its pharmacologically active metabolites, M2 or M5 at the same concentrations as those in sera of patients. We also examined the sMICA levels and the area under the plasma concentration-time curve of regorafenib, M2 and M5.

Results: Regorafenib, M2, and M5 significantly suppressed shedding of MICA in human CRC cells without toxicity. This resulted in the reduced production of sMICA. In the clinical examination, patients with CRC who showed long median PFS (3.7 months) had significantly lower sMICA levels than those with shorter median PFS (1.2 months) (p = 0.045).

Conclusions: MICA is an attractive agent for manipulating the immunological control of CRC and baseline sMICA levels could be a predictive biomarker for the efficacy of regorafenib treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-022-09512-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9019943PMC
April 2022

Fusion HBx from HBV integrant affects hepatocarcinogenesis through deregulation of ER stress response.

Virus Res 2022 Jul 14;315:198787. Epub 2022 Apr 14.

Department of Gastroenterology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan.

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major cause of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) worldwide. HBV X protein (HBx) is potentially the most oncogenic among HBV-encoding proteins, while HBV integration, which is frequently observed in HCC, contributes to HCC development. However, the molecular mechanism underlying HBV-induced hepatocarcinogenesis remains unclear. In this study, we identified the fusion HBx, the HBx-human fusion protein derived from HBV integrant, in Hep3B cells and investigated its role in hepatocarcinogenesis. The identified full-length fusion mRNA was 3,725 bp in length, and the fusion HBx, which consisted of 1-140 amino acids of HBx followed by 61 amino acids from the human genome, was translated from the fusion mRNA. The fusion HBx knockdown resulted in reduced cell proliferation and invasion, and loss of tumor development in nude mice. Moreover, the fusion HBx, but not wild HBx, provided anchorage-independent growth ability in soft agar although its transactivation ability was abrogated. Microarray analysis revealed that fusion HBx deregulated endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response by modifying ATF3, ATF4, and ATF6 transcription. Interestingly, the effects of fusion HBx on ER stress signaling pathway were similar to those of C-terminal truncated HBx, but significantly different from those of wild HBx. Our findings suggest that the fusion HBx plays a significant role in hepatocarcinogenesis by modifying ER stress response and could be an attractive target for the treatment of HBV-induced HCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.virusres.2022.198787DOI Listing
July 2022

Durvalumab with or without tremelimumab combined with particle therapy for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma with macrovascular invasion: protocol for the DEPARTURE phase Ib trial.

BMJ Open 2022 04 8;12(4):e059779. Epub 2022 Apr 8.

National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology, Chiba, Japan.

Introduction: Advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with macrovascular invasion (MVI) has the worst prognosis among all phenotypes. This trial aims to evaluate whether treatment with durvalumab, alone or in combination with tremelimumab, plus particle therapy is a safe and synergistically effective treatment in patients with advanced HCC and MVI.

Methods And Analysis: This phase Ib, multicentre (two sites in Japan), open-label, single-arm, investigator-initiated clinical trial will assess durvalumab monotherapy in combination with particle therapy (cohort A) and that of durvalumab plus tremelimumab in combination with particle therapy (cohort B) for patients with advanced HCC with MVI. Cohort A will receive 1500 mg durvalumab every 4 weeks. Cohort B will receive 1500 mg durvalumab every 4 weeks in principle and 300 mg tremelimumab only on day 1 of the first cycle. Carbon-ion radiotherapy will be administered after day 8 of the first cycle. The primary endpoints are rates of any and severe adverse events, including dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs); secondary endpoints are overall survival, 6-month survival, objective response, 6-month progression-free survival and time to progression. Patients are initially enrolled into cohort A. If cohort A treatment is confirmed to be tolerated (ie, no DLT in three patients or one DLT in six patients), the trial proceeds to enrol more patients into cohort B. Similarly, if cohort B treatment is confirmed to be tolerated (ie, no DLT in three patients or one DLT in six patients), a total of 15 patients will be enrolled into cohort B.

Ethics And Dissemination: This study was approved by the ethics committees of the two participating institutions (Chiba University Hospital and National Institutes for Quantum (approval number: 2020040) and Radiological Science and Technology, QST Hospital (approval number: C20-001)). Participants will be required to provide written informed consent. Trial results will be reported in a peer-reviewed journal publication.

Trial Registration Number: jRCT2031210046.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2021-059779DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8995959PMC
April 2022

Exploring microsatellite instability in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma and its tumor microenvironment.

JGH Open 2021 Nov 1;5(11):1266-1274. Epub 2021 Oct 1.

Department of Diagnostic Pathology, Graduate School of Medicine Chiba University Chiba Japan.

Background And Aim: Immune checkpoint inhibitors and their combination with other agents have recently been available in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Hence, a thorough understanding of the tumor microenvironment based on tumor samples is yet to be achieved. This study aimed to explore the tumor microenvironment in advanced HCC in terms of microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) by using tumor samples from advanced HCC patients eligible for systemic therapy.

Methods: MSI-H was assessed by polymerase chain reaction, and the expression of mismatch repair proteins, PD-L1, CD8, VEGF, and HLA-class1 was evaluated by immunohistochemistry. Whole-exome sequencing was performed for MSI-H tumor samples.

Results: Of 50 patients, one (2.0%) was confirmed with MSI-H. In the MSI-H advanced HCC tumor, a high tumor mutation burden, infiltration of CD8 lymphocytes, and low expression of VEGF were identified. Although PD-L1 expression was negative, there was shrinkage of tumor following pembrolizumab. However, another tumor nonresponsive to pembrolizumab was present simultaneously. Checking the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database, we found a similar case to this patient. The TCGA case had unique gene features of miR-21 and miR-155 overexpression and hypermethylation of the gene.

Conclusion: We identified a very small number of MSI-H cases in HCC using one tumor biopsy sample for each patient with advanced HCC. In addition, epigenetic aberrations possibly lead to MSI-H in HCC patients. Since different HCC clones might coexist in the liver, sampling from multiple tumors should be considered to clarify the true proportion of MSI-H in HCC and to analyze tumor microenvironments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jgh3.12660DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8593775PMC
November 2021

Changes in therapeutic options for hepatocellular carcinoma in Asia.

Liver Int 2021 Nov 15. Epub 2021 Nov 15.

Department of Gastroenterology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan.

The incidence rate of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is expected to increase, with most cases occurring in Asia. In some parts of Asia, the occurrence of HCC developing from metabolic-related liver disease has markedly increased in recent years, whereas the occurrence of HCC developing from viral-hepatitis-related liver disease has decreased. Advancements in the treatment of HCC over the past few decades has been remarkable, with most treatment strategies to remove or control liver tumours (hepatic resection, local ablation, radiation therapy, transarterial chemoembolisation, hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy) primarily developing in Asia. In addition, recent progress in systemic therapies has prolonged the prognosis of advanced HCC. Nowadays, six regimens of systemic therapies have become available in most countries, according to phase III trials (atezolizumab plus bevacizumab, sorafenib, lenvatinib, regorafenib, cabozantinib and ramucirumab). In a global randomised phase III trial (IMbrave 150 trial), the most effective of the latest drug designs was newly emerged combination immunotherapy (atezolizumab plus bevacizumab), which has shown significantly prolonged overall survival compared with sorafenib, which was the first-line systemic therapy for more than a decade. Now, the treatment dynamics for HCC are undergoing a major transition as a result of two important changes: the replacement of viral-related HCC by metabolic-related HCC and the emergence of combination immune therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/liv.15101DOI Listing
November 2021

EZH1/2 inhibition augments the anti-tumor effects of sorafenib in hepatocellular carcinoma.

Sci Rep 2021 11 1;11(1):21396. Epub 2021 Nov 1.

Department of General Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba, 260-8670, Japan.

Both EZH2 and its homolog EZH1 function as histone H3 Lysine 27 (H3K27) methyltransferases and repress the transcription of target genes. Dysregulation of H3K27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) plays an important role in the development and progression of cancers such as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This study investigated the relationship between the expression of EZH1/2 and the level of H3K27me3 in HCC. Additionally, the role of EZH1/2 in cell growth, tumorigenicity, and resistance to sorafenib were also analyzed. Both the lentiviral knockdown and the pharmacological inhibition of EZH1/2 (UNC1999) diminished the level of H3K27me3 and suppressed cell growth in liver cancer cells, compared with EZH1 or EZH2 single knockdown. Although a significant association was observed between EZH2 expression and H3K27me3 levels in HCC samples, overexpression of EZH1 appeared to contribute to enhanced H3K27me3 levels in some EZH2H3K27me3 cases. Akt suppression following sorafenib treatment resulted in an increase of the H3K27me3 levels through a decrease in EZH2 phosphorylation at serine 21. The combined use of sorafenib and UNC1999 exhibited synergistic antitumor effects in vitro and in vivo. Combination treatment canceled the sorafenib-induced enhancement in H3K27me3 levels, indicating that activation of EZH2 function is one of the mechanisms of sorafenib-resistance in HCC. In conclusion, sorafenib plus EZH1/2 inhibitors may comprise a novel therapeutic approach in HCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-00889-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8560765PMC
November 2021

Retinoids Decrease Soluble MICA Concentration by Inhibiting the Enzymatic Activity of ADAM9 and ADAM10.

Anticancer Res 2021 May;41(5):2307-2320

Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Showa University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.

Background/aim: The association between MHC class I polypeptide-related sequence A (MICA) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development was identified in our previous genome-wide association study. Decreasing soluble MICA (sMICA) through MICA sheddases suppression facilitates natural killer (NK) cell-mediated cytotoxicity. The expression of ADAM9 in HCC has been correlated with poor prognosis, and our recent study showed that its suppression contributes to cancer elimination by decreasing sMICA.

Materials And Methods: Human HCC cell line PLC/PRF/5 and HepG2 cells were used. sMICA levels were measured by ELISA. Expression of retinoid X receptors (RXRs) and retinoic acid receptors (RARs) was knocked down by siRNA.

Results: In our screening of FDA-approved drugs in vitro, retinoids were found to be efficient ADAM9 and ADAM10 inhibitors. Treatment with retinoids reduced sMICA levels in human HCC cells. Interestingly, the effects were abrogated by depletion of the retinoid receptor RXRα.

Conclusion: Retinoids can be potential novel agents for HCC treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21873/anticanres.15006DOI Listing
May 2021

Serum Angiopoietin 2 acts as a diagnostic and prognostic biomarker in hepatocellular carcinoma.

J Cancer 2021 5;12(9):2694-2701. Epub 2021 Mar 5.

Department of Gastroenterology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba 260-8670, Japan.

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is typically accompanied by abundant arterial blood flow. Although angiogenic growth factors such as Angiopoietin 2 (Ang2) play a central role in tumor angiogenesis in HCC, the role of serum Ang2 as a biomarker in HCC remains unclear. In this study, we aimed to investigate the potential of Ang2 as a diagnostic and prognostic biomarker in HCC using a sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The median Ang2 levels in controls (n=20), chronic liver disease patients (n=98), and HCC patients (n=275) were 1.58, 2.33, and 3.53 ng/mL, respectively. The optimal cut-off value of Ang2 was determined as 3.5 ng/mL by receiver operating curve analysis. The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of Ang2 for HCC detection were 50.9, 83.7, and 59.5%, respectively. Spearman's rank correlation coefficient analysis demonstrated only a weak correlation between Ang2 serum levels and alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) or des-gamma-carboxy prothrombin (DCP) serum levels. The diagnostic value of Ang2 was comparable to those of other existing markers. In addition, 24 out of 73 patients with normal AFP and DCP levels (32.9%) demonstrated abnormally high Ang2 levels (≥3.5 ng/mL). Although no significant difference in overall survival was found between Ang2 and Ang2 patients with curative ablation therapy, recurrence-free survival (RFS) in Ang2 patients was observed to be significantly shorter than those in Ang2 patients. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that high serum Ang2 levels (≥3.5 ng/mL) and the presence of multiple tumors were poor prognostic factors. In conclusion, our findings indicate that serum Ang2 is a potential novel biomarker for both diagnosis and prognosis in HCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7150/jca.56436DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8040723PMC
March 2021

Acquisition of mesenchymal-like phenotypes and overproduction of angiogenic factors in lenvatinib-resistant hepatocellular carcinoma cells.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2021 04 3;549:171-178. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

Department of Gastroenterology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan.

Lenvatinib is one of the first-line drugs for patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and widely used around the world. However, the mechanisms underlying resistance to lenvatinib remain unclear. In this study, we conducted characteristic analyses of lenvatinib-resistant HCC cells. Lenvatinib-resistant HCC cell lines were established by exposure to serially escalated doses of lenvatinib over 2 months. The biological characteristics of these cells were examined by in vitro assays. To investigate the cytokine profile of lenvatinib-resistant HCC cells, the supernatant derived from lenvatinib-resistant Huh7 cells was subjected to nitrocellulose membrane-based sandwich immunoassay. Both activation of the MAPK/MEK/ERK signaling pathway and upregulation of epithelial mesenchymal transition markers were observed in lenvatinib-resistant cells. Concordant with these findings, proliferation and invasion abilities were enhanced in these cells compared with control cells. Screening of a cytokine array spotted with 105 different antibodies to human cytokines enabled us to identify 16 upregulated cytokines in lenvatinib-resistant cells. Among them, 3 angiogenic cytokines: vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), platelet-derived growth factor-AA (PDGF-AA), and angiogenin, were increased significantly. Conditioned medium from lenvatinib-resistant cells accelerated tube formation of human umbilical vein cells. In conclusion, lenvatinib-resistant HCC cells were characterized by enhanced proliferation and invasion abilities. These findings might contribute to the establishment of new combination therapies with lenvatinib.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2021.02.097DOI Listing
April 2021

The impact of FGF19/FGFR4 signaling inhibition in antitumor activity of multi-kinase inhibitors in hepatocellular carcinoma.

Sci Rep 2021 03 5;11(1):5303. Epub 2021 Mar 5.

Division of Stem Cell and Molecular Medicine, Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 108-8639, Japan.

FGF19/FGFR4 autocrine signaling is one of the main targets for multi-kinase inhibitors (MKIs). However, the molecular mechanisms underlying FGF19/FGFR4 signaling in the antitumor effects to MKIs in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remain unclear. In this study, the impact of FGFR4/ERK signaling inhibition on HCC following MKI treatment was analyzed in vitro and in vivo assays. Serum FGF19 in HCC patients treated using MKIs, such as sorafenib (n = 173) and lenvatinib (n = 40), was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Lenvatinib strongly inhibited the phosphorylation of FRS2 and ERK, the downstream signaling molecules of FGFR4, compared with sorafenib and regorafenib. Additional use of a selective FGFR4 inhibitor with sorafenib further suppressed FGFR4/ERK signaling and synergistically inhibited HCC cell growth in culture and xenograft subcutaneous tumors. Although serum FGF19 (n = 68) patients treated using sorafenib exhibited a significantly shorter progression-free survival and overall survival than FGF19 (n = 105) patients, there were no significant differences between FGF19 (n = 21) and FGF19 (n = 19) patients treated using lenvatinib. In conclusion, robust inhibition of FGF19/FGFR4 is of importance for the exertion of antitumor effects of MKIs. Serum FGF19 levels may function as a predictive marker for drug response and survival in HCC patients treated using sorafenib.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-84117-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7935880PMC
March 2021

Interferon-γ induced PD-L1 expression and soluble PD-L1 production in gastric cancer.

Oncol Lett 2020 Sep 19;20(3):2161-2168. Epub 2020 Jun 19.

Department of Gastroenterology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chuo-ku, Chiba 260-8670, Japan.

Programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) plays an essential role in tumor cell escape from anti-tumor immunity in various types of cancer, including gastric cancer (GC). The present study investigated the intracellular and membrane-bound expression of PD-L1 in the GC cell lines MKN1, MKN74, KATO III and OCUM-1. Furthermore, soluble PD-L1 (sPD-L1) level in the supernatant of GC cells and the serum of patients with GC and healthy controls was determined by ELISA. Interferon (IFN)-γ treatment of cells resulted in increased cytoplasmic expression of PD-L1 in GC cells in a dose-dependent manner, except for MKN74 cells; however, there was no association between tumor necrosis factor-α treatment and enhanced PD-L1 expression. Concordant with these findings, results from flow cytometry analysis demonstrated that membrane-bound PD-L1 expression was also increased following GC cell treatment with IFN-γ in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, significant sPD-L1 overproduction was observed only in the culture supernatant of OCUM-1 cells. Serum level of sPD-L1 was significantly increased in patients with GC, in particular in stage IV patients, compared with healthy controls. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that IFN-γ treatment increased the intracellular and membrane-bound PD-L1 expression in GC cells. In addition, sPD-L1 was detected not only in the supernatant of GC cells but also in the serum of patients with GC. Further investigation on the underlying mechanism of regulation of PD-L1 expression and sPD-L1 production is required.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/ol.2020.11757DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7400993PMC
September 2020

Leukotriene receptor antagonists enhance HCC treatment efficacy by inhibiting ADAMs and suppressing MICA shedding.

Cancer Immunol Immunother 2021 Jan 18;70(1):203-213. Epub 2020 Jul 18.

Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Showa University School of Medicine, 1-5-8 Hatanodai, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo, 142-8666, Japan.

In our previous genome-wide association study, we demonstrated the association between MHC class I-related chain A (MICA) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development in patients with chronic hepatitis C. Increasing membrane-bound MICA (mMICA) in cancer cells by reducing MICA sheddases facilitates natural killer (NK) cell-mediated cytotoxicity. Our recent study clarified that A disintegrin and metalloproteases (ADAM), including ADAM9, are MICA sheddases in HCC, and that the suppression of ADAMs increases mMICA, demonstrating the rationality of mMICA-NK targeted therapy. Furthermore, we showed that regorafenib suppresses ADAM9 transcriptionally and translationally. A library of FDA-approved drugs was screened for more efficient inhibitors of ADAM9. Flow cytometry evaluation of the expression of mMICA after treatment with various candidate drugs identified leukotriene receptor antagonists as potential ADAM9 inhibitors. Furthermore, leukotriene receptor antagonists alone or in combination with regorafenib upregulated mMICA, which was in turn downregulated by leukotriene C4 and D4 via ADAM9 function. Our study demonstrates that leukotriene receptor antagonists could be developed as novel drugs for immunological control and suppression of ADAM9 in HCC. Further, leukotriene receptor antagonists should be explored as combination therapy partners with conventional multi-kinase inhibitors for developing therapeutic strategies with enhanced efficacies for HCC management and treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00262-020-02660-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7838147PMC
January 2021

A Novel Role of Interleukin 13 Receptor alpha2 in Perineural Invasion and its Association with Poor Prognosis of Patients with Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 May 20;12(5). Epub 2020 May 20.

Tumor Vaccines and Biotechnology Branch, Division of Cellular and Gene Therapies, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, MD 20993, USA.

Perineural invasion (PNI) is one of the major pathological characteristics of pancreatic ductal adeno-carcinoma (PDAC), which is mediated by invading cancer cells into nerve cells. Herein, we identify the overexpression of Interleukin-13 Receptor alpha2 (IL-13Rα2) in the PNI from 236 PDAC samples by studying its expression at the protein levels by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and the RNA level by in situ hybridization (ISH). We observe that ≥75% samples overexpressed IL-13Rα2 by IHC and ISH in grade 2 and 3 tumors, while ≥64% stage II and III tumors overexpressed IL-13Rα2 (≥2+). Interestingly, ≥36 % peripancreatic neural plexus (PL) and ≥70% nerve endings (Ne) among PNI in PDAC samples showed higher levels of IL-13Rα2 (≥2+). IL-13Rα2 +ve PL and Ne subjects survived significantly less than IL-13Rα2 -ve subjects, suggesting that IL-13Rα2 may have a unique role as a biomarker of PNI-aggressiveness. Importantly, IL-13Rα2 may be a therapeutic target for intervention, which might not only prolong patient survival but also help alleviate pain attributed to perineural invasion. Our study uncovers a novel role of IL-13Rα2 in PNI as a key factor of the disease severity, thus revealing a therapeutically targetable option for PDAC and to facilitate PNI-associated pain management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12051294DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7281570PMC
May 2020

Serum fibroblast growth factor 19 serves as a potential novel biomarker for hepatocellular carcinoma.

BMC Cancer 2019 Nov 12;19(1):1088. Epub 2019 Nov 12.

Department of Gastroenterology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, 1-8-1 Inohana, Chuo-ku, Chiba, 260-8670, Japan.

Background: Abnormal autocrine fibroblast growth factor 19 (FGF19) production has been observed in several types of cancers, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In this study, we investigated the potential of serum FGF19 as a novel tumor marker of HCC based on a sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

Methods: The serum FGF19 levels of 304 patients with HCC was measured by ELISA. The serum levels of existing markers, including alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and des-gamma-carboxy prothrombin (DCP) were determined by chemiluminescence enzyme immunoassay. Both diagnostic value of FGF19 and its changes after curative ablation therapy was further examined.

Results: The median FGF19 levels in controls, chronic liver disease patients, and primary HCC patients, were 78.8 pg/mL, 100.1 pg/mL, and 214.5 pg/mL, respectively. The subsequent receiver operating characteristic curves (ROC) successfully determined an optimal cut-off value of 200.0 pg/mL. The area under the ROC curve (AUC) of FGF19 for HCC detection was comparable to those of AFP and DCP. Of importance, FGF19 showed higher sensitivity for the detection of small HCC (solitary cancer with diameter < 20 mm) than those of existing markers. In addition, 43 out of 79 cases (54.4%) with normal AFP and DCP (so-called "double negative HCC") exhibited serum FGF19 level ≥ 200 pg/mL. In 45 HCC patients treated with curative ablation therapy, serum FGF19 levels changed from 257.4 pg/mL to 112.0 pg/mL after the treatment.

Conclusion: Our findings reveal that FGF19 can be a potential novel biomarker for HCC. Although FGF19 is not necessarily a substitute for existing markers, it may help improve the prognosis in HCC patients owing to its resourceful use in various aspects of HCC management and treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-019-6322-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6849282PMC
November 2019

CD4 T cells from patients with primary biliary cholangitis show T cell activation and differentially expressed T-cell receptor repertoires.

Hepatol Res 2019 Jun 26;49(6):653-662. Epub 2019 Feb 26.

Division of Advanced Genome Medicine, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.

Aim: Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) is an autoimmune liver disease with unknown pathogenesis. In PBC, activation of T-cell receptor (TCR) signaling is associated with inflammatory cytokine production through N-Ras upregulation. Although the CD4 T cell TCR repertoire could be associated with PBC pathogenesis, it has not been evaluated. Thus, we analyzed the PBC-CD4 T cell TCR repertoire using next generation sequencing (NGS).

Methods: Four PBC patients (one treatment-naïve and three receiving ursodeoxycholic acid) and three healthy individuals were enrolled. NRAS expression in CD4 T cells was assessed by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). N-Ras dynamics in CD4 T cells were assessed by qRT-PCR and GTP-N-Ras activation assay. The TCR α- (TRA) and β-chain (TRB) repertoires on CD4 T cells were analyzed by NGS and profiled using hierarchical analysis. Motif analysis was undertaken to elucidate the structure of PBC-specific TCRs.

Results: NRAS was upregulated in PBC relative to control CD4 T cells (P < 0.05), and N-Ras enhanced T cell activation in CD4 T cells. Among 2668 TRAs and 841 TRBs, 20 and 11, respectively, were differentially expressed in PBC compared to that in controls (P < 0.05, fold-change >2). Among them, TRAV29/J22, TRBV6-5/J2-6, and TRBV10-1/J2-1 were expressed in PBC but the expression was negligible in the controls, with more mature and longer forms observed in PBC-CD4 T cells.

Conclusions: N-Ras was upregulated in PBC-CD4 T cells, and it enhanced TCR activation, indicating that PBC-CD4 T cells were activated by N-Ras upregulation with differentially expressed TCR repertoires on their surfaces.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/hepr.13318DOI Listing
June 2019

Enzymatic inhibition of MICA sheddase ADAM17 by lomofungin in hepatocellular carcinoma cells.

Int J Cancer 2018 11 22;143(10):2575-2583. Epub 2018 Sep 22.

Division of Advanced Genome Medicine, The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.

In our previous study on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) susceptibility genes in chronic hepatitis patients, we identified the MHC class I polypeptide-related sequence A (MICA). Natural killer cells eliminate various cancer cells, including HCC, by suppressing MICA shedding. Therefore, we investigated MICA sheddases and inhibitors for HCC immunotherapy. In this study, HepG2, PLC/PRF/5, and Hep3B were treated with the siRNA of a disintegrin and metalloproteases (ADAMs) and matrix metalloproteases to measure the concentration of soluble MICA (sMICA) by ELISA to detect the therapeutic target. Furthermore, an FDA-approved drug library was tested for the enzymatic inhibition of the targeted enzyme in an in vitro drug screening assay system. ADAM17 knockdown reduced sMICA levels and increased membrane-bound MICA (mMICA) expression in HCC cells. In an in vitro drug screen using an FDA-approved drug library, lomofungin, an antifungal drug, was found to strongly decrease ADAM17 activity. In HCC cells, mMICA expression was induced and sMICA production was inhibited in a dose-dependent manner. These effects were cancelled upon ADAM17 knockdown, suggesting that lomofungin targeted ADAM17. Analysis of lomofungin analogs revealed the responsible functional groups. In summary, we suggest lomofungin to be an attractive agent for the immunological control of HCC, via the suppression of ADAM17.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.31615DOI Listing
November 2018

Predominance of regorafenib over sorafenib: Restoration of membrane-bound MICA in hepatocellular carcinoma cells.

J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2018 May 6;33(5):1075-1081. Epub 2018 Feb 6.

Division of Advanced Genome Medicine, The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.

Background And Aim: The multi-kinase inhibitor regorafenib (REG) was recently demonstrated to be effective in patients with sorafenib (SOR)-resistant hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Interestingly, SOR is known to enhance the accumulation of membrane-bound MHC class I polypeptide-related sequence A (mMICA) in HCC cells and to block the production of soluble MICA (sMICA), an immunological decoy. In addition, MICA is associated with HCC in patients with chronic hepatitis C. We have now compared the impact of REG and SOR on MICA in HCC cells, as well as the immunotherapeutic implications thereof.

Methods: HepG2 and PLC/PRF/5 cells were exposed to REG and SOR, and levels of sMICA and mMICA were measured by ELISA and flow cytometry, respectively. The drugs were also tested in vitro for inhibitory activity against recombinant human A disintegrin and metalloprotease 9 (ADAM9), a sheddase that releases MICA from the membrane.

Results: To a greater extent than SOR, but without marked difference in cytotoxicity, REG significantly suppressed mRNA and protein expression of ADAM9 and ADAM10, thereby decreasing production of sMICA and boosting accumulation of mMICA. Accumulation of mMICA in response to REG was reversed by siRNA against ADAM9. However, the drugs did not inhibit the enzymatic activity of ADAM9 in vitro.

Conclusions: The clinical superiority of REG over SOR is partially attributable to reduced MICA shedding via transcriptional suppression of ADAM9 and ADAM10.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jgh.14029DOI Listing
May 2018

miR-425 regulates inflammatory cytokine production in CD4 T cells via N-Ras upregulation in primary biliary cholangitis.

J Hepatol 2017 06 10;66(6):1223-1230. Epub 2017 Feb 10.

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, The Jikei University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan; Sanno Medical Center, Sanno Hospital, International University of Health and Welfare, Tokyo, Japan.

Background & Aims: Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) is an autoimmune liver disease of unknown pathogenesis. Consequently, therapeutic targets for PBC have yet to be identified. CD4 T cells play a pivotal role in immunological dysfunction observed in PBC, and therefore, microRNA (miRNA) and mRNA expression were analysed in CD4 T cells, to investigate PBC pathogenesis and identify novel therapeutic targets.

Methods: Integral miRNA and mRNA analysis of 14 PBC patients and ten healthy controls was carried out using microarray and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), with gene set enrichment analysis. The functional analyses of miRNA were then assessed using reporter and miRNA-overexpression assays.

Results: The integral analysis of miRNA and mRNA identified four significantly downregulated miRNAs (miR-181a, -181b, -374b, and -425) related to the T cell receptor (TCR) signalling pathway in CD4 T cells of PBC. N-Ras, a regulator of the TCR signalling pathway, was found to be targeted by all four identified miRNAs. In addition, in vitro assays confirmed that decreased miR-425 strongly induced inflammatory cytokines (interleukin [IL]-2 and interferon [IFN]-γ) via N-Ras upregulation in the TCR signalling pathway.

Conclusion: The decreased expression of four miRNAs that dysregulate TCR signalling in PBC CD4 T cells was identified. miR-425 was demonstrated as an inflammatory regulator of PBC via N-Ras upregulation. Therefore, the restoration of decreased miR-425 or the suppression of N-Ras may be a promising immunotherapeutic strategy against PBC.

Lay Summary: Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) is an autoimmune liver disease, but the causes are unknown. MicroRNAs are molecules known to regulate biological signals. In this study, four microRNAs were identified as being decreased in PBC patients, leading to activation of T cell receptor signalling pathways, involved in inflammation. One particular target, N-Ras, could be an attractive and novel immunotherapeutic option for PBC.

Transcript Profiling: Microarray data are deposited in GEO (GEO accession: GSE93172).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2017.02.002DOI Listing
June 2017

Novel chemoimmunotherapeutic strategy for hepatocellular carcinoma based on a genome-wide association study.

Sci Rep 2016 12 2;6:38407. Epub 2016 Dec 2.

The Advanced Clinical Research Center, The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo 108-8639, Japan.

Pharmacotherapeutic options are limited for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Recently, we identified the anti-tumor ligand MHC class I polypeptide-related sequence A (MICA) gene as a susceptibility gene for hepatitis C virus-induced HCC in a genome-wide association study (GWAS). To prove the concept of HCC immunotherapy based on the results of a GWAS, in the present study, we searched for drugs that could restore MICA expression. A screen of the FDA-approved drug library identified the anti-cancer agent vorinostat as the strongest hit, suggesting histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACis) as potent candidates. Indeed, the HDACi-induced expression of MICA specific to HCC cells enhanced natural killer (NK) cell-mediated cytotoxicity in co-culture, which was further reinforced by treatment with an inhibitor of MICA sheddase. Similarly augmented anti-tumor activity of NK cells via NK group 2D was observed in vivo. Metabolomics analysis revealed HDACi-mediated alterations in energy supply and stresses for MICA induction and HCC inhibition, providing a mechanism for the chemoimmunotherapeutic actions. These data are indicative of promising strategies for selective HCC innate immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep38407DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5133582PMC
December 2016

[Development status of DAA against hepatitis C].

Nihon Rinsho 2015 Dec;73 Suppl 9:262-8

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December 2015

The characteristic changes in hepatitis B virus x region for hepatocellular carcinoma: a comprehensive analysis based on global data.

PLoS One 2015 5;10(5):e0125555. Epub 2015 May 5.

Division of advanced genome medicine, Advanced clinical research center, The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.

Objectives: Mutations in hepatitis B virus (HBV) X region (HBx) play important roles in hepatocarcinogenesis while the results remain controversial. We sought to clarify potential hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)-characteristic mutations in HBx from HBV genotype C-infected patients and the distribution of those mutations in different disease phases and genotypes.

Methods: HBx sequences downloaded from an online global HBV database were screened and then classified into Non-HCC or HCC group by diagnosis information. Patients' data of patient age, gender, country or area, and viral genotype were also extracted. Logistic regression was performed to evaluate the effects of mutations on HCC risk.

Results: 1) Full length HBx sequences (HCC: 161; Non-HCC: 954) originated from 1115 human sera across 29 countries/areas were extracted from the downloaded 5956 HBx sequences. Genotype C occupied 40.6% of Non-HCC (387/954) and 89.4% of HCC (144/161). 2) Sixteen nucleotide positions showed significantly different distributions between genotype C HCC and Non-HCC groups. 3) Logistic regression showed that mutations A1383C (OR: 2.32, 95% CI: 1.34-4.01), R1479C/T (OR: 1.96, 95% CI: 1.05-3.64; OR: 5.15, 95% CI: 2.53-10.48), C1485T (OR: 2.40, 95% CI: 1.41-4.08), C1631T (OR: 4.09, 95% CI: 1.41-11.85), C1653T (OR: 2.58, 95% CI: 1.59-4.19), G1719T (OR: 2.11, 95% CI: 1.19-3.73), and T1800C (OR: 23.59, 95% CI: 2.25-247.65) were independent risk factors for genotype C HBV-related HCC, presenting different trends among individual disease phases. 4) Several genotype C HCC risk mutations pre-existed, even as major types, in early disease phases with other genotypes.

Conclusions: Mutations associated with HCC risk were mainly located in HBx transactivation domain, viral promoter, protein/miRNA binding sites, and the area for immune epitopes. Furthermore, the signatures of these mutations were unique to disease phases leading to HCC, suggesting molecular counteractions between the virus and host during hepatocarcinogenesis.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0125555PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4420286PMC
February 2016

[Hepatitis C virus induced hepatocellular carcinoma associated genes].

Nihon Rinsho 2015 Feb;73(2):333-8

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major risk factor for developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The host genetic factors involved in the development of HCC in patients with HCV infection were investigated. To identify the genetic susceptibility factors for HCV-induced HCC, genome wide association studies (GWAS) were conducted in HCV-induced HCC cases and controls of Japanese origin. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) which showed possible association in the GWAS were further genotyped using different cohorts. By these analyses, MICA and DEPDC5 SNPs were found to be strongly associated with HCV-induced HCC. These results highlight the importance of MICA and DEPDC5 genetic variations not only as predictive biomarkers for HCV-induced HCC but also as therapeutic targets against hepatocarcinogenesis or HCC.
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February 2015

The flavonoid apigenin inhibits hepatitis C virus replication by decreasing mature microRNA122 levels.

Virology 2014 Aug 14;462-463:42-8. Epub 2014 Jun 14.

Department of Gastroenterology, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, 5-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8655, Japan.

Despite recent progress in the development of direct-acting antivirals against hepatitis C virus (HCV), chronic HCV infection remains an important health burden worldwide. MicroRNA122 (miR122), a liver-specific microRNA (miRNA), positively regulates HCV replication, and systemic application of antisense oligonucleotides against miR122 led to the long-lasting suppression of HCV viremia in human clinical trials. Here, we report that apigenin, a flavonoid and an inhibitor of maturation of a subset of miRNAs, inhibits HCV replication in vitro. Apigenin decreased the expression levels of mature miR122 without significantly affecting cell growth. Because supplementation of synthesized miR122 oligonucleotides or overexpression of constitutively active TRBP blocked these effects, the inhibitory effects of apigenin on HCV replication seemed to be dependent on the reduction of mature miR122 expression levels through inhibition of TRBP phosphorylation. Thus, apigenin intake, either through regular diet or supplements, may decrease HCV replication in chronically infected patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2014.05.024DOI Listing
August 2014

Specific delivery of microRNA93 into HBV-replicating hepatocytes downregulates protein expression of liver cancer susceptible gene MICA.

Oncotarget 2014 Jul;5(14):5581-90

Department of Gastroenterology, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.

Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major cause of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). To date, the lack of efficient in vitro systems supporting HBV infection and replication has been a major limitation of HBV research. Although primary human hepatocytes support the complete HBV life cycle, their limited availability and difficulties with gene transduction remain problematic. Here, we used human primary hepatocytes isolated from humanized chimeric uPA/SCID mice as efficient sources. These hepatocytes supported HBV replication in vitro. Based on analyses of mRNA and microRNA (miRNA) expression levels in HBV-infected hepatocytes, miRNA93 was significantly downregulated during HBV infection. MiRNA93 is critical for regulating the expression levels of MICA protein, which is a determinant for HBV-induced HCC susceptibility. Exogenous addition of miRNA93 in HBV-infected hepatocytes using bionanocapsules consisted of HBV envelope L proteins restored MICA protein expression levels in the supernatant. These results suggest that the rescued suppression of soluble MICA protein levels by miRNA93 targeted to HBV-infected hepatocytes using bionanocapsules may be useful for the prevention of HBV-induced HCC by altering deregulated miRNA93 expression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.2143DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4170619PMC
July 2014

Impact of PNPLA3 polymorphisms on the development of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection.

Hepatol Res 2014 Oct 8;44(10):E137-44. Epub 2014 Jan 8.

Department of Gastroenterology, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.

Aim: The PNPLA3 rs738409 C>G polymorphism (encoding for I148M) has recently been identified as a susceptibility factor for steatosis-mediated liver damage. We evaluated the influence of this polymorphism on hepatocarcinogenesis in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) virus infection.

Methods: We genotyped the rs738409 single nucleotide polymorphism in 358 hepatitis C-associated hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients and correlated the age at onset of HCC and the interval between hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and the development of HCC in patients with each genotype.

Results: The frequencies of CC, CG and GG genotypes were 27.9% (100/358), 49.2% (176/358) and 22.9% (82/358), respectively, and were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. The median age at onset of HCC for the GG genotype was significantly younger compared to for non-GG genotypes (67.81 vs 69.87 years, P < 0.001), and the median interval between HCV infection and the development of HCC was significantly shorter in patients with the GG genotype (39.96 vs 40.85 years, P = 0.008). PNPLA3 GG genotype was also associated with a higher aspartate aminotransferase level (69.5 vs 59.0 IU/L, P = 0.02), lower prothrombin time (73.0% vs 78.0%, P = 0.008) and a higher prevalence of histological steatosis (40.0% vs. 22.2%, P = 0.01) at the time of HCC onset.

Conclusion: The PNPLA3 genotype GG may be associated with accelerated hepatocarcinogenesis in CHC patients through increased steatosis in the liver.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/hepr.12258DOI Listing
October 2014

IL28B minor allele is associated with a younger age of onset of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection.

J Gastroenterol 2014 Apr 22;49(4):748-54. Epub 2013 May 22.

Department of Gastroenterology, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.

Background: IL28B polymorphisms were shown to be associated with a response to peg-interferon-based treatment in chronic hepatitis C (CHC) and spontaneous clearance. However, little is known about how this polymorphism affects the course of CHC, including the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We evaluated the influence of IL28B polymorphisms on hepatocarcinogenesis in CHC patients.

Methods: We genotyped the rs8099917 single-nucleotide polymorphism in 351 hepatitis C-associated HCC patients without history of IFN-based treatment, and correlated the age at onset of HCC in patients with each genotype.

Results: Frequencies of TT, TG, and GG genotypes were 74.3 % (261/351), 24.8 % (87/351), and 0.9 % (3/351), respectively. The mean ages at onset of HCC for TT, TG, and GG genotypes were 69.9, 67.5 and 66.8, respectively. In multivariate analysis, IL28B minor allele (TG and GG genotypes) was an independent risk factor for younger age at onset of HCC (P = 0.02) in males (P < 0.001) with higher body mass index (BMI; P = 0.009). The IL28B minor allele was also associated with a lower probability of having aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index (APRI) >1.5 (minor vs. major, 46.7 vs. 58.6 %; P = 0.01), lower AST (69.1 vs. 77.7 IU/L, P = 0.02), lower ALT (67.8 vs. 80.9 IU/L, P = 0.002), higher platelet count (12.8 vs. 11.2 × 10(4)/μL, P = 0.002), and higher prothrombin time (79.3 vs. 75.4 %, P = 0.002).

Conclusions: The IL28B minor allele was associated with lower inflammatory activity and less progressed fibrosis of the liver; however, it constituted a risk factor for younger-age onset of HCC in CHC patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00535-013-0826-xDOI Listing
April 2014

[Viral hepatitis].

Nihon Rinsho 2012 Nov;70 Suppl 8:583-8

Unit of Disease Control Genome Medicine, Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo.

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November 2012
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