Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most deadly liver malignancy
found and Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a prominent risk factor for this disease. Prognosis of HCC is poor;
initiate the need of markers to discover therapeutic targets in HCC.
Introduction: Clinical staging systems of HCC composed of tumor characteristics along with liver
function test are important in prognosis but they are not precise. Molecular profiling can lead to a better
understanding of the physiopathology of HCC and can help in the development of novel therapeutic
Methods: 64 HCC serum samples (shifted from HCV) were graded into stage I- IV; along with +ive (3
Hepatitis C) and -ive control (2 healthy persons). Proteins were separated by sodium dodecyl sulfatepolyacrylamide
gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and differential mRNA expression from serum samples
of different HCC stages was confirmed by Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR).
Results: HCC serum proteins displayed differential expression of glutathione s-transferase (GST),
glypican-3 (GPC3), vitronectin (VTN), and clusterin (CLU) by SDS-PAGE. GST was expressed in -ive
control, while GPC3 was found in both -ive and +ive control. The qPCR analysis, display more than
0.07 fold decrease in GST in I-IV HCC stages. The highest increase in HCC stages was observed by
GPC3; about 4 fold increase in I-IV stages. VTN show 1.7-3.4 fold; while CLU show 2-3.5 fold increase
in four stages of HCC.
Conclusion: GPC3, VTN and CLU in combination can be good potential markers for differentiating
stages (I-IV) of HCC.