Prognostic and clinical implications of WNK lysine deficient protein kinase 1 expression in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma

Yi Jung Ho, Jungshan Chang, Kun Tu Yeh, Zhiyuan Gong, Yueh Min Lin, Jeng Wei Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background/Aim: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a particularly malignant form of cancer prevalent throughout the world; however, there is a pressing need for HCC biomarkers to facilitate prognosis and risk assessment. Patients and Methods: This paper reports on the potential prognostic value of WNK lysine deficient protein kinase 1 (WNK1) in cases of HCC. We analyzed the expression of WNK1 at the mRNA level using omics data from the UALCAN database. We then verified our findings through the immunohistochemical (IHC) staining of various human cancer tissue as well as 59 HCC samples paired with corresponding normal tissues. The prognostic value of mRNA or protein expression by WNK1 was evaluated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Results: Initial screening results revealed significantly higher WNK1 expression levels in HCC tissue compared to normal tissue. Verification using the paired HCC samples confirmed that the expression of WNK1 was indeed significantly higher in HCC tissue samples than in adjacent normal tissues. High WNK1 expression levels were significantly correlated with clinicopathological variables, including gender and histologic grade. Kaplan- Meier survival analysis revealed that high WNK1 expression levels were associated with poor HCC prognosis. Finally, univariate and multivariate analysis identified WNK1 as a prognostic factor for TNM stage in cases of HCC. Conclusion: In summary, WNK1 is overexpressed at the mRNA and protein levels, and correlated with poor prognosis. Thus, WNK1 expression could potentially be used as a biomarker in HCC prognosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2631-2640
Number of pages10
JournalIn Vivo
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020


  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Prognostic marker
  • Survival
  • WNK1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology


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