Int J Biol Sci 2019; 15(6):1139-1147. doi:10.7150/ijbs.30904 This issue

Research Paper

HJURP Promotes Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition via Upregulating SPHK1 in Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Tianchi Chen1,2,3,4,5*, Lingfeng Zhou1,2,3,4,5*, Yuan Zhou2,3,4,5, Wuhua Zhou2,3,4,5, Hechen Huang2,3,4,5, Shengyong Yin2,3,4, Haiyang Xie2,3,4,5, Lin Zhou2,3,4,5, Shusen Zheng1,2,3,4,5✉

1. Division of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery, Department of Surgery, First Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.
2. NHFPC Key Laboratory of Combined Multi-organ Transplantation, Hangzhou, China.
3. Key Laboratory of Organ Transplantation, Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou, China.
4. Key Laboratory of the diagnosis and treatment of organ Transplantation, CAMS, Hangzhou, China.
5. Collaborative innovation center for Diagnosis treatment of infectious diseases, Zhejiang university, Hangzhou, China.
*These authors contributed equally to this work.

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.
Chen T, Zhou L, Zhou Y, Zhou W, Huang H, Yin S, Xie H, Zhou L, Zheng S. HJURP Promotes Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition via Upregulating SPHK1 in Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Int J Biol Sci 2019; 15(6):1139-1147. doi:10.7150/ijbs.30904. Available from

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Graphic abstract

Holliday Junction Recognition Protein (HJURP) is involved in various cancers including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Current studies have showed that HJURP is correlated with HCC proliferation. However, the role of HJURP in HCC Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition remains unclear. In this study, we found that HJURP knockdown significantly reduced the migration and invasion abilities of HCC cells both in vivo and in vitro by interacting with Sphingosine kinase1 (SPHK1). Conversely, HJURP overexpression enhanced these biological abilities. Moreover, high HJURP expression is related to poor prognosis of HCC patients. In conclusion, HJURP plays an important role in tumor metastasis by upregulating SPHK1. And high HJURP expression may predict a lower disease-free survival rate and higher possibility of microvascular invasion in HCC patients.

Keywords: Holliday junction recognition protein, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, sphingosine kinase 1, hepatocellular carcinoma