Purpose: The DHCR24 gene that encodes 3b-hydroxysterol Δ24-reductase, an oxidoreductase involved in cholesterol biosynthesis, has been identified as a progression-related gene based on the quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) gene signature. Here, the functional role of DHCR24 and its clinical relevance in non-muscle-invasive urothelial carcinoma (NMIUC) were investigated.
Methods: Primary NMIUC tissue specimens (n = 162) were analyzed by qPCR. Immunohistochemical staining was also performed on 63 subsets of NMIUC tissues. The present study was also undertaken in order to verify the effect of DHCR24 on human urothelial carcinoma cells.
Results: The mRNA expression levels of DHCR24 were significantly higher for patients in with higher grades of tumors than for those with lower grades of tumors (P = 0.003). Kaplan–Meier estimates revealed significant differences in the time to progression between low- and high-mRNA expression groups (log-rank test, P < 0.001). Multivariate Cox regression analysis revealed that the level of DHCR24 expression is an independent predictor of progression (hazard ratio, 5.464; 95 % confidence interval, 1.746–17.099; P = 0.004). The results of immunohistochemical staining were generally concordant with mRNA expression levels. Enforced expression of DHCR24 caused proliferation, adhesion, and migration, while DHCR24 loss resulted in slower proliferation and a reduction in cell viabilities compared with control cells.
Conclusions: DHCR24 was found to be closely associated with progression among patients with NMIUC and showed aggressive properties in human UC cells.
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