Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the fifth most common cancer worldwide and cellular mechanisms regulating HCC pathogenesis and progression are not completely understood. DYNLL1 is essential for the development and expansion of MYC-driven B cell lymphoma, and also regulates genomic stability and responses to DNA-damaging chemotherapy in BRCA1-deficient tumors. However, the role and regulation of DYNLL1 has not been previously studied in the context of HCC. Here we report that DYNLL1 gene is hypomethylated and its expression is upregulated in HCC patients compared to healthy controls. The expression of DYNLL1 changes in a tumor grade- and stage-dependent manner in HCC. In this study, we further show that high DYNLL1 expression results in shorter overall and progression-free survival in hepatocellular carcinoma patients. Similar to DYNLL1, one of its protein interactors, RACK1, also shows decreased CpG-aggregated methylation and increased expression in HCC. RACK1 expression increases from early to late stage and from low to high grade in HCC. We found that high RACK1 expression is significantly associated with increased mortality of HCC patients. The present study shows that the epigenetic regulation of DYNLL1 and its consequent upregulation might be contributing to cancer development and progression in HCC. Its higher expression in late stage or high grade HCC may favor more aggressive disease as pointed by the increased mortality in high expression cohort. A better mechanistic understanding of the role of DYNLL1 in HCC will be needed to develop targeted treatment strategies in the future.
Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.