AIM: To explore the expression pattern of E2F5 in primary hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) and elucidate the roles of E2F5 in hepatocarcinogenesis.
METHODS: E2F5 expression was analyzed in 120 primary HCCs and 29 normal liver tissues by immunohistochemistry analysis. E2F5-small interfering RNA was transfected into HepG2, an E2F5-overexpressed HCC cell line. After E2F5 knockdown, cell growth capacity and migrating potential were examined.
RESULTS: E2F5 was significantly overexpressed in primary HCCs compared with normal liver tissues (P = 0.008). The E2F5-silenced cells showed significantly reduced proliferation (P = 0.004). On the colony formation and soft agar assays, the number of colonies was significantly reduced in E2F5-silenced cells (P = 0.004 and P = 0.009, respectively). E2F5 knockdown resulted in the accumulation of G0/G1 phase cells and a reduction of S phase cells. The number of migrating/invading cells was also reduced after E2F5 knockdown (P = 0.021).
CONCLUSION: To our knowledge, this is the first evidence that E2F5 is commonly overexpressed in primary HCC and that E2F5 knockdown significantly repressed the growth of HCC cells.