New data indicates that the protein TM4SF5 has a crucial role in the ability of human hepatocarcinoma cells to overcome contact inhibition and grow in an uncontrolled manner.
Researchers observed that TM4SF5 was overexpressed in human hepatocarcinoma tissue. This mediated cellular effects that caused the tumor cells to undergo a process known as epithelial-mesenchymal transition and resulted in uncontrolled growth both in vitro and when the cells were injected into mice.
The scientists involved in the study were from Seoul National University, Gyeongsang National University, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, and Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology. The study was published in the March 20 edition of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.