Des-γ-carboxyl prothrombin is associated with tumor angiogenesis in hepatocellular carcinoma

Minoru Matsubara, Hidenori Shiraha, Jyunro Kataoka, Masaya Iwamuro, Shigeru Horiguchi, Shin Ichi Nishina, Nobuyuki Takaoka, Masayuki Uemura, Akinobu Takaki, Shinichiro Nakamura, Yoshiyuki Kobayashi, Kazuhiro Nouso, Kazuhide Yamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Aim: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a hypervascular tumor, and angiogenesis plays an important role in its development. Previously, we demonstrated that des-γ-carboxyl prothrombin (DCP) promotes both cell proliferation and migration of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) by inducing the autophosphorylation of kinase insert domain receptor (KDR). In the present study, DCP-associated tumor angiogenesis was assessed by comparing hypovascular and common hypervascular HCC. Methods: The solitary HCCs of 827 patients were classified into two groups according to the tumor density at the arterial phase of a dynamic computed tomography scan; the initial clinical data of patients with the hyper- and hypovascular types were compared. The HCC tissues from 95 tumors were analyzed by immunohistochemical staining for DCP and phosphorylated KDR, and intratumoral microvessel density (MVD) was analyzed to evaluate microvessel angiogenesis. Results: The serum DCP levels (320±3532mAU/mL) and tumor size (18.4±9.0mm) of patients with hypervascular HCC were significantly greater than those with hypovascular HCC (38.7±80mAU/mL and 14.6±5.2mm, P<0.001). Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that the expressions of DCP and phospho-KDR were significantly greater in hypervascular HCC (71.4% and 31.0%, respectively) than in hypovascular HCC (7.6% and 5.7%, respectively). Intratumoral MVD was significantly correlated with DCP (r=0.48, P<0.0001). Conclusions: des-γ-carboxyl prothrombin production is associated with tumor angiogenesis in HCC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1602-1608
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Australia)
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


  • Des-γ-carboxyl prothrombin
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Intratumoral microvessel density
  • Kinase insert domain receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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