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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 231474, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/231474
Research Article

CD44 Gene Polymorphisms on Hepatocellular Carcinoma Susceptibility and Clinicopathologic Features

1Institute of Medicine, Chung Shan Medical University, 110 Chien-Kuo North Road, Section 1, Taichung 402, Taiwan
2Cancer Research Center, Changhua Christian Hospital, Changhua 500, Taiwan
3School of Medical Laboratory and Biotechnology, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung 402, Taiwan
4Department of Surgery, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taichung 402, Taiwan
5Department of Medical Research, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taichung 402, Taiwan
6School of Medicine, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung 402, Taiwan
7Department of Internal Medicine, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taichung 402, Taiwan

Received 24 April 2014; Revised 13 May 2014; Accepted 15 May 2014; Published 27 May 2014

Academic Editor: Chia-Jui Weng

Copyright © 2014 Ying-Erh Chou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in Taiwan. CD44, one of the well-known tumor markers, plays an essential role in tumor cell differentiation, invasion, and metastasis. We investigated the CD44 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with environmental risk factors related to HCC susceptibility and clinicopathological characteristics. Six SNPs of CD44 were analyzed using a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in 203 patients with HCC and in 561 cancer-free controls. We determined that the individuals carrying at least one G allele at CD44 rs187115 has higher risk of developing HCC than did wild-type (AA) carriers. We further observed that the CD44 rs187115 polymorphisms with at least one G allele had a higher frequency of distribution in nonsmoking stage III/IV HCC patients, compared with wild-type carriers. Our results suggested that patients with CD44 rs187115 variant genotypes (AG+GG) were associated with a higher risk of HCC development and that these patients might possess chemoresistance, causing more likely progression to late-stage HCC than wild-type carriers without the overexpression of CD44 induced by heavy smoking. CD44 rs187115 might be involved in CD44 isoform expression of p53 stress response in HCC and provide a marker for predicting worst-case prognosis of HCC.