BMB Rep.2019 Apr;52(4):277-282.doi: 10.5483/BMBRep.2019.52.4.263.

Insufficient radiofrequency ablation-induced autophagy contributes to the rapid progression of residual hepatocellular carcinoma through the HIF-1α/BNIP3 signaling pathway

Wen-Lei Xu  1 Shao-Hong Wang  1 Wen-Bing Sun  1 Jun Gao  1 Xue-Mei Ding  1 Jian Kong  1 Li Xu  1 Shan Ke  1

1 Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Beijing Chao-yang Hospital Affiliated to Capital Medical University, Beijing 100043, China.


Currently speaking, it is noted that radiofrequency ablation (RFA) has been the most widely used treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) occurring in patients. However, accumulating evidence has demonstrated that the incidence of insufficient RFA (IRFA) may result in the identified rapid progression of residual HCC in the patient, which can greatly hinder the effectiveness and patient reported benefits of utilizing this technique. Although many efforts have been proposed, the underlying mechanisms triggering the rapid progression of residual HCC after IRFA have not yet been fully clarified through current research literature reviews. It was shown in this study that cell proliferation, migration and invasion of residual HepG2 and SMMC7721 cells were significantly increased after the IRFA was simulated in vitro. In other words, it is noted that IRFA could do this by enhancing the image of autophagy of the residual HCC cell via the HIF-1α/BNIP3 pathway. Consequently, the down-regulation of BNIP3 may result in the inhibition of the residual HCC cell progression and autophagy after IRFA. Our present study results suggest that IRFA could promote residual HCC cell progression in vitro by enhancing autophagy via the HIF-1α/BNIP3 pathway. For this reason, it is noted that the targeting of the BNIP3 may be useful in preventing the rapid growth and metastasis of residual HCC after IRFA. [BMB Reports 2019; 52(4): 277-282].