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Upregulation of the δ opioid receptor in liver cancer promotes liver cancer progression both in vitro and in vivo

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The δ opioid receptor (DOR), is the first cloned G┬áprotein-coupled receptor. Many recent studies on DOR functions have determined that the DOR is involved in the regulation of malignant transformation and tumor progression in multiple cancers. However, it is still unclear if the DOR is involved in the regulation of malignant transformation and tumor progression in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The purpose of our study was to investigate the expression of the DOR in HCC and to determine its effect on progression to further understand the influence of the DOR on the biological characteristics of HCC. Higher expression of DOR was observed in liver tumor tissue/cells compared to normal liver tissue/cells. When DOR gene expression was silenced or inhibited, the proliferation of HCC cells was inhibited, and tumor cells underwent apoptosis, the cell cycle was arrested and tumor cell invasion and migration were significantly decreased. Nude mice inoculated with cells stably expressing low levels of DOR displayed reduced tumor formation rates and reduced tumor growth. In conclusion, DOR is highly expressed in HCC and is involved in HCC progression, suggesting that DOR is a potential target for HCC treatment.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Affiliated Hospital, Guilin Medical University, Guilin 541001, Guangxi, P.R. China 2: Department of Medical Oncology, Affiliated Hospital, Guilin Medical University, Guilin 541001, Guangxi, P.R. China 3: Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Darby Children's Research Institute, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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  • The International Journal of Oncology provides an international forum for the publication of the latest, cutting-edge research in the broad area of oncology and cancer treatment. The journal accepts original high quality works and reviews on all aspects of oncology research including carcinogenesis, metastasis, epidemiology, chemotherapy and viral oncology. Through fair and efficient peer review, the journal is dedicated to publishing top tier research in the field, offering authors rapid publication as well as high standards of copy-editing and production. The International Journal of Oncology is published on a monthly basis in both print and early online.
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