Down-regulation of β-arrestin2 promotes tumour invasion and indicates poor prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma

Wu Yi Sun, Shan Shan Hu, Jing Jing Wu, Qiong Huang, Yang Ma, Qingtong Wang, Jing Yu Chen, Wei Wei

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22 Scopus citations


β-arrestins, including β-arrestin1 and β-arrestin2, are multifunctional adaptor proteins. β-arrestins have recently been found to play new roles in regulating intracellular signalling networks associated with malignant cell functions. Altered β-arrestin expression has been reported in many cancers, but its role in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is not clear. We therefore examined the roles of β-arrestins in HCC using an animal model of progressive HCC, HCC patient samples and HCC cell lines with stepwise metastatic potential. We demonstrated that β-arrestin2 level, but not β-arrestin1 level, decreased in conjunction with liver tumourigenesis in a mouse diethylnitrosamine-induced liver tumour model. Furthermore, β-arrestin2 expression was reduced in HCC tissues compared with noncancerous tissues in HCC patients. β-arrestin2 down-regulation in HCC was significantly associated with poor patient prognoses and aggressive pathologic features. In addition, our in vitro study showed that β-arrestin2 overexpression significantly reduced cell migration and invasion in cultured HCC cells. Furthermore, β-arrestin2 overexpression up-regulated E-cadherin expression and inhibited vimentin expression and Akt activation. These results suggest that β-arrestin2 down-regulation increases HCC cell migration and invasion ability. Low β-arrestin2 expression may be indicative of a poor prognosis or early cancer recurrence in patients who have undergone surgery for HCC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number35609
JournalScientific Reports
StatePublished - Oct 19 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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