We identified kan-1 complementary DNA (cDNA), the sequence of which is identical to bile acid CoA:amino acid N-acyltransferase (BAT), a liver enzyme that catalyzes the conjugation of bile acids with glycine or taurine. kan-1(BAT) messenger RNA (mRNA) levels of the resected specimens obtained from 37 hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients were studied in an attempt to evaluate prognostic significance in HCC patients after partial hepatectomy. Using Northern blot hybridization, kan-1(BAT) mRNA levels were quantified in tumorous and nontumorous tissues, and the ratio of the former to the latter was defined as the kan-1(BAT) ratio. Twelve patients had a kan-1(BAT) ratio < 0.5 (low kan- 1[BAT] ratio), and 25 patients had a ratio >0.5 (high kan-1[BAT] ratio). The patients with a low kan-1(BAT) ratio demonstrated poorer survival than the patients with a high kan-1(BAT) ratio (P = .0013). The overall estimated hazard ratio for death in patients with a low kan-1(BAT) ratio was 68.05 according to a multivariate model (P = .0005). Thus, the kan-1(BAT) ratio may serve as a new molecular prognostic marker in HCC patients, following hepatic resection.