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The objective of this study was to investigate the expression of vesicular amine transporter 1 (VAT1) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and its prognostic value and to analyze the relationship between VAT1 expression and clinicopathological features of HCC. First, several public databases, including Ualcan, GEPIA, and Oncomine, were used to analyze the expression of VAT1 in HCC and normal liver tissue. Next, 330 HCC and 190 normal liver samples were stained by immunohistochemistry and scored. Finally, we evaluated the clinical significance of VAT1 as a prognostic factor according to the clinicopathological characteristics. We observed that the expression level of VAT1 in HCC samples was significantly higher than that in normal liver tissues, and the high expression of VAT1 protein in HCC was significantly correlated with patient age, tumor size, number of tumors, and vascular metastasis (p<0.05). The average survival time of HCC patients with high expression of VAT1 was significantly lower than that of patients with low expression of VAT1. Further analysis demonstrated that VAT1 expression was significantly correlated with the length of overall survival in HCC patients. In conclusion, VAT1 may have an essential function in the progression of HCC, and the level of its expression may effectively predict the invasion and prognosis of HCC. Moreover, the combination of information contained in public databases and the results of the analysis of clinical samples can help us to understand better the mechanism of action of molecular oncogenes in HCC.


Wang Heng, Fei Wei, Wanhai Li, Qian Li, Dan-Lei Xiong, Ying-Yu Ma, Da-Hong Zhang. Expression of VAT1 in hepatocellular carcinoma and its clinical significance. Neoplasma. 2021 Mar;68(2):416-422

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PMID: 33440991

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