The loss of phenol sulfotransferase 1 in hepatocellular carcinogenesis

Marie Yeo, Young Mi Na, Dong Kyu Kim, Young Bae Kim, Hee Jeong Wang, Jung A. Lee, Jae Youn Cheong, Kwang Jae Lee, Young Ki Paik, Sung Won Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Biomarkers for the detection of early hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are urgently needed. To identify biomarkers of HCC, we performed a comparative proteomics analysis, based on 2-DE of HCC tissues and surrounding non-tumor tissues. Six xenobiotic enzymes were significantly down-regulated in the HCC tissue. Among these, phenol sulfotransferase (SULT1A1) was confirmed by Western blot analysis in 105 HCC patients. SULT1A1 showed a significant decrease in 98.1% of the HCC tissues, with 88.6% sensitivity and 66.7% specificity for the detection of HCC. Immunohistochemistry for SULT1A1 was performed and compared with glypican-3, which is a well-known marker of HCC. The results showed down-regulation of SULT1A1 and up-regulation of glypican-3 in 52.6 and 71.9% of the HCCs, and the use of both markers improved the sensitivity up to 78.9%. Moreover, SULT1A1 was useful in differentiating early HCC from benign dysplastic nodules. Clinically, the down-regulation of SULT1A1 was closely associated with an advanced International Union Against Cancer stage and high levels of serum α-fetoprotein. In conclusion, the results of this study demonstrate that the loss of SULT1A1 appears to be a characteristic molecular signature of HCC. SULT1A1 might be a useful biomarker for the detection of early HCC and help predict the clinical outcome of patients with HCC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-276
Number of pages11
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jan

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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