• Hepatitis C virus;
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma;
  • Liver proteome;
  • Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a major cause of death in Japan. It has been suggested that hepatitis C virus (HCV) plays an important role in hepatocarcinogenesis, because of high incidence among the patients. To understand the mechanism of hepatocarcinogenesis after HCV infection, we performed a comparative study on the protein profiles between tumorous and nontumorous specimens from the patients infected with HCV by means of two-dimensional electrophoresis. Eleven spots were decreased in HCC tissues from over 50% of the patients. Eight proteins out of 11 spots were identified using peptide mass fingerprinting with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight-mass spectrometry. These proteins were liver type aldolase, tropomyosin β-chain, ketohexokinase, enoyl-CoA hydratase, albumin, smoothelin, ferritin light chain, and arginase 1. The intensity of enoyl-CoA hydratase, tropomyosin β-chain, ketohexokinase, liver type aldolase, and arginase 1 was significantly different (p < 0.05). The decrease of 8 proteins was characteristic in HCC. We will discuss the implication of these proteins for the loss of function of hepatocytes and for the possibility of carcinogenesis of HCV-related HCC.