The development and progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is accompanied with persistent oxidative stress, but the molecular basis is not well defined. Superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) is an important mitochondrial antioxidant and a key aging factor. Here we investigated the expression and clinical significance of SOD2 in a large cohort of HBV-positive HCC tumors. Both SOD2 mRNA and protein are reduced in human primary HCCs compared with matching liver tissues. Consistently, the SOD2 DNA copy numbers are decreased in HCCs, providing a genetic basis for the decrease in SOD2 mRNA expression. Reduced SOD2 expression in HCCs is correlated with older age, larger tumor size, multiple tumor nodules and tumor emboli, and cancer recurrence. Moreover, low SOD2 expression is strongly associated with poor overall survival (OS) and recurrence-free survival (RFS). Univariate and multivariate Cox regression analyses indicates that SOD2 is an independent prognostic predictor for OS and RFS. Intriguingly, reduced SOD2 mRNA is strongly associated with poor survival in a separate cohort of HCC patients carrying mutant p53. Altogether, our results provide clinical evidence for the importance of SOD2 in tumor progression and mortality, and the close relationship of SOD2 and p53 in HCC.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology
- Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC)
- Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS)
- Superoxide Dismutase 2 (SOD2)