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NF-κB, JNK, and TLR Signaling Pathways in Hepatocarcinogenesis

Gastroenterology Research and Practice
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  • Biology
  • Medicine


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the third largest cause of cancer deaths worldwide. The role of molecular changes in HCC have been used to identify prognostic markers and chemopreventive or therapeutic targets. It seems that toll-like receptors (TLRs) as well as the nuclear factor (NF)-κB, and JNK pathways are critical regulators for the production of the cytokines associated with tumor promotion. The cross-talk between an inflammatory cell and a neoplastic cell, which is instigated by the activation of NF-κB and JNKs, is critical for tumor organization. JNKs also regulate cell proliferation and act as oncogenes, making them the main tumor-promoting protein kinases. TLRs play roles in cytokine and hepatomitogen expression mainly in myeloid cells and may promote liver tumorigenesis. A better understanding of these signaling pathways in the liver will help us understand the mechanism of hepatocarcinogenesis and provide a new therapeutic target for HCC.

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