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Open Access Research

TGF beta1 and related-Smads contribute to pulmonary metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma in mice model

Guo-Cai Li12, Qing-Hai Ye1, Qiong-Zhu Dong1, Ning Ren1, Hu-Liang Jia1 and Lun-Xiu Qin1*

Author Affiliations

1 Liver Cancer Institute & Zhongshan Hospital, Institutes of Biomedical Science, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

2 GaoXin Hospital, Xi’an JiaoTong University, Xi’an, Shanxi Province, China

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Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2012, 31:93  doi:10.1186/1756-9966-31-93

Published: 14 November 2012

Abstract

Background

Recent studies indicate that Transforming Growth Factor beta (TGF β) correlated with pulmonary metastasis of cancers. However, the correlation between TGF β and pulmonary metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is till unknown.

Methods

We detected the in vitro and in vivo expression levels of TGF β1/Smads by Real-time PCR and Western blot in MHCC97-H and MHCC97–L cell lines, which are HCC cell lines and have higher and lower pulmonary metastatic potential respectively.

Results

TGF β1 mRNA level in MHCC97-L tumors were higher than that in MHCC97-H tumors, (2.81±1.61 vs. 1.24±0.96, P=0.002), TGF β1 protein level in MHCC97-L tumors were also higher than that in MHCC97-H tumors (1.37±0.95 vs. 0.32±0.22, P<0.001). In addition, the TGF β1 mRNA level positively correlated with pulmonary metastasis, and the relations between TGF β1 and Smads were also found (R2=0.12 and 0.40, respectively).

Conclusions

Our results suggest that TGF β/ Smads promote pulmonary metastasis of HCC.

Keywords:
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Metastasis; Transforming growth factor beta