Utilization of spectrins βI and βIII in diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma

Shaomin Hu, Deborah Jue, Joseph Albanese, Yanhua Wang, Qiang Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Spectrins are a group of cytoskeletal proteins which participate in many important cellular functions. It has been suggested that loss of spectrin isoforms may be associated with tumorigenesis of lymphoma, leukemia, gastric cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We recently reported that βI spectrin expression was present in normal hepatocytes but lost in HCC cells, which suggested that spectrins may be helpful markers in diagnosis of HCC. In this study, using immunohistochemical staining, we further investigated the expression pattern of four spectrin isoforms (αII, βI-III) on different benign and malignant liver tumors including focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH), hepatic adenoma (HA), HCC, and cholangiocarcinoma (CC). The results revealed that βI spectrin was moderately to strongly positive in FNH and HA tissues, but was only weakly positive or lost in HCC cases and was weakly positive in all CC cases. In addition, the βIII spectrin, majority of which was moderately positive in both FNH and HA tissues, was mostly lost in poorly differentiated HCC but remained at least moderately positive in most CC cases. These results suggest that spectrins βI and βIII may be used to differentiate well differentiated HCC from FNH or HA, and poorly differentiated HCC from CC, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-91
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Diagnostic Pathology
StatePublished - Apr 2019


  • Cholangiocarcinoma
  • Focal nodular hyperplasia
  • Hepatic adenoma
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Spectrin βI
  • Spectrin βIII

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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