Identification and Validation of HCC-specific Gene Transcriptional Signature for Tumor Antigen Discovery

Annacarmen Petrizzo, Francesca Pia Caruso, Maria Tagliamonte, Maria Lina Tornesello, Michele Ceccarelli, Valerio Costa, Marianna Aprile, Roberta Esposito, Gennaro Ciliberto, Franco M. Buonaguro, Luigi Buonaguro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A novel two-step bioinformatics strategy was applied for identification of signatures with therapeutic implications in hepatitis-associated HCC. Transcriptional profiles from HBV- and HCV-associated HCC samples were compared with non-tumor liver controls. Resulting HCC modulated genes were subsequently compared with different non-tumor tissue samples. Two related signatures were identified, namely "HCC-associated" and "HCC-specific". Expression data were validated by RNA-Seq analysis carried out on unrelated HCC samples and protein expression was confirmed according to The Human Protein Atlas (, a public repository of immunohistochemistry data. Among all, aldo-keto reductase family 1 member B10, and IGF2 mRNA-binding protein 3 were found strictly HCC-specific with no expression in 18/20 normal tissues. Target peptides for vaccine design were predicted for both proteins associated with the most prevalent HLA-class I and II alleles. The described novel strategy showed to be feasible for identification of HCC-specific proteins as highly potential target for HCC immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number29258
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - Jul 8 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Identification and Validation of HCC-specific Gene Transcriptional Signature for Tumor Antigen Discovery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this