Upregulation of heat shock factor 1 transcription activity is associated with hepatocellular carcinoma progression

Shulian Li, Wanli Ma, Teng Fei, Qiang Lou, Yaqin Zhang, Xiukun Cui, Xiaoming Qin, Jun Zhang, Guangchao Liu, Zheng Dong, Yuanfang Ma, Zhengshun Song, Yanzhong Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Heat shock factor 1 (HSF1) is associated with tissue specific tumorigenesis in a number of mouse models, and has been used a as prognostic marker of cancer types, including breast and prostatic cancer. However, its role in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is not well understood. Using immunoblotting and immunohistochemical staining, it was identified that HSF1 and its serine (S) 326 phosphorylation, a biomarker of HSF1 activation, are significantly upregulated in human HCC tissues and HCC cell lines compared with their normal counterparts. Cohort analyses indicated that upregulation of the expression of HSF1 and its phospho S326 is significantly correlated with HCC progression, invasion and patient survival prognosis (P<0.001); however, not in the presence of a hepatitis B virus infection and the expression of alpha-fetoprotein and carcinoembryonic antigen. Knockdown of HSF1 with shRNA induced the protein expression of tumor suppressor retinoblastoma protein, resulting in attenuated plc/prf5 cell growth and colony formation in vitro. Taken together, these data markedly support that HSF1 is a potential prognostic marker and therapeutic target for the treatment of HCC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2313-2321
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Medicine Reports
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Heat shock factor 1
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Phosphorylation
  • Retinoblastoma protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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