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Int J Biol Sci 2018; 14(9):1081-1089. doi:10.7150/ijbs.24692

Research Paper

Phosphorylation of SMC1A promotes hepatocellular carcinoma cell proliferation and migration

Ying Zhang1*, Fei Yi1*, Liang Wang2, Zhuo Wang1, Naijin Zhang3, Zhijun Wang1, Ziwei Li1, Xiaoyu Song, Shi Wei4✉, Liu Cao1✉

1. Key Laboratory of Medical Cell Biology, Ministry of Education; Institute of Translational Medicine, China Medical University; Liaoning Province Collaborative Innovation Center of Aging Related Disease Diagnosis and Treatment and Prevention, Shenyang, Liaoning Province, China
2. Department of Pathology, The College of Basic Medical Sciences, China Medical University, Shenyang, Liaoning Province, China
3. Department of Cardiology, The First Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, Liaoning Province, China
4. Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35249-7331, USA
*These authors contributed equally to this work.


Structural maintenance of chromosomes protein 1A (SMC1A) has been implicated in the development of a variety of cancer types. However, its role in hepatocellular carcinoma remains unknown. In this study, we found that phosphorylated SMC1A was highly expressed in HepG2 and Bel7402 cells when compared with other cancer cell lines. Furthermore, SMC1A knockdown dramatically reduced HepG2 and Bel7402 cell proliferation and migration. Re-expressing phosphomimetic mutants S957DS966D significantly enhanced the proliferation and migration of SMC1A knockdown HepG2 and Bel7402 cells. In addition, phosphorylated SMC1A promotes hepatocellular carcinoma cells growth in vivo. Importantly, the expression of phosphorylated SMC1A was significantly higher in human hepatocellular carcinomacells when compared to peri-tumor benign hepatocytes, and its overexpression was significantly associated with worse prognostic outcomes. These observations suggest that phosphorylation of SMC1A is a vital event in tumorigenesis and disease progression in hepatocellular carcinoma thus necessitating further investigation.

Keywords: Hepatocellular Carcinoma, SMC1 phosphorylation, Proliferation, Migration, Prognosis

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) license ( See for full terms and conditions.
How to cite this article:
Zhang Y, Yi F, Wang L, Wang Z, Zhang N, Wang Z, Li Z, Song X, Wei S, Cao L. Phosphorylation of SMC1A promotes hepatocellular carcinoma cell proliferation and migration. Int J Biol Sci 2018; 14(9):1081-1089. doi:10.7150/ijbs.24692. Available from