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Recent studies have demonstrated an oncogenic role of the transcription factor (TF) CP2c in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) based on a strong correlation between CP2c expression, tumor grade, and aggressiveness. We recently found that CP2c directly interacts with another TF, YY1, which is also overexpressed in multiple cancers, including HCC. To evaluate if these proteins are co-regulated in carcinogenesis, we analyzed the expression of CP2c and YY1 in HCC (n = 136) tissues and examined the correlation between their expression and clinicopathological characteristics of HCC. Receiver operating characteristic analysis exhibited the validity of CP2c and nuclear YY1 expression as a diagnostic factor in HCC tissues. High expression of CP2c was significantly correlated with patient age, and higher histological grade, American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) stage, and small and large vessel invasion in HCC tissues, whereas high expression of nuclear YY1 was significantly associated with higher AJCC stage and small vessel invasion. In univariate and multivariate analyses, high expression of CP2c was significantly correlated with disease free survival (DFS), indicating that CP2c expression is an independent prognostic factor for DFS in HCC patients. Patients with high expression of both CP2c and nuclear YY1 usually had a shorter median survival time and worse DFS prognosis than other patients, suggesting that combined detection of CP2c and nuclear YY1 is a useful prognostic marker in HCC patients.

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Oncotarget, v. 8, issue 15, p. 24389-24400