VOL. 2, No. 2, January 2005

G. Giannelli, et al. [2005] Med Hypotheses Res 2: 339-345.

Expression of Extracellular Matrix Metalloprotease
Inducer (EMMPRIN) in Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Gianluigi Giannelli*, Felice Marinosci, Pietro Dentico and
Salvatore Antonaci

Department of Internal Medicine, Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Section of Internal
Medicine (G.G., F.M., S.A.) and Section of Infectious Diseases; University of Bari Medical
School, Bari, Italy (P.D.)

Abstract. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most frequent malignancies in
the world. Clinical outcome and prognosis are still poor, likely because the occurrence of
metastasis. The biological mechanisms underlying the spreading of HCC cancer cells are still
unknown; however, it has been reported that increased levels of matrix metalloproteases
(MMPs), a family of enzymes with a proteolytic activity towards a number of  extracellular
matrix (ECM) proteins, play a role in allowing HCC metastasis. CD147/EMMPRIN
(extracellular matrix metalloprotease inducer), a transmembrane glycoprotein belonging to
the immunoglobulin superfamily, has been shown to regulate the expression of MMPs. In
this study we investigated the expression of EMMPRIN in tissues of 23 patients with
metastatic and nonmetastatic HCC and in the peritumoral cirrhotic tissue. Our results show
that EMMPRIN is more strongly expressed in HCC than in peritumoral tissue. In HCC
patients, expression is stronger in metastatic than nonmetastatic patients. Finally, the
stronger expression is inversely correlated with survival. In conclusion, EMMPRIN
expression could have a role affecting HCC prognosis and survival.

*Address all correspondence to: Dr. Gianluigi Giannelli, Dipartimento di  linica Medica,
Immunologia e Malattie Infettive, Sezione di Medicina Interna, Policlinico, Piazza G. Cesare
11, 70124 Bari, Italy.  Phone: 39-080-5478-858. Fax: 39-080-5478-126. E-Mail:

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