FHIT mRNA and protein expression in hepatocellular carcinoma

Rajesh Kannangai, Fikret Sahin, Onikepe Adegbola, Raheela Ashfaq, Gloria H. Su, Michael Torbenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Loss of fragile histidine triad (FHIT) gene expression is seen in approximately 50% of hepatocellular carcinomas in China. However, little information is available on FHIT expression in hepatocellular carcinoma in the United States, where carcinogen exposure is generally lower. Investigations of FHIT mRNA in hepatocellular neoplasms and paired non-neoplastic tissues demonstrated normal-sized FHIT transcripts in all non-neoplastic tissues and in all neoplasms including 11 hepatocellular carcinomas, two fibrolamellar carcinomas, and four benign proliferative lesions. In addition, all but one malignant and all benign neoplasms showed aberrant smaller transcripts. The smaller aberrant transcripts were overexpressed in 6/11 hepatocellular carcinomas and 1/2 fibrolamellar carcinomas. An additional 79 hepatocellular carcinomas, 12 fibrolamellar carcinomas and 15 hepatic adenomas were examined for FHIT expression by immunohistochemistry. No loss of immunostaining was seen in 67/79 (85%) of hepatocellular carcinomas, while a moderate or marked decrease was seen in 12/79 (15%). Fibrolamellar carcinomas and hepatic adenomas showed no loss of FHIT expression. In conclusion, hepatocellular carcinomas retained expression of normal FHIT mRNA transcripts, but also showed universal expression of smaller sized aberrant transcripts and commonly overexpressed these aberrant transcripts. Loss of FHIT protein expression is relatively uncommon in this cohort from the United States, where exposure to hepatic carcinogens is generally low.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)653-659
Number of pages7
JournalModern Pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • FHIT
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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