Prognostic Value and Potential Immunoregulatory Role of SCARF1 in Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Daniel A. Patten, Alex L. Wilkinson, Joanne M. O'rourke, Shishir Shetty

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Scavenger receptor class F member 1 (SCARF1) is thought to play an important role in the selective recruitment of CD4+ T cells to liver sinusoidal endothelial cells during chronic liver disease. However, the contribution of SCARF1 to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is currently unknown. We utilized publically-available RNA-sequencing data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TGCA) to explore SCARF1 expression in HCC and correlated it with a number of clinicopathological features. Flow adhesion assays were used to determine the role of SCARF1 in CD4+ T cell subset recruitment. SCARF1 expression was downregulated in HCC tumor tissues, compared to non-tumoral tissues, and loss of SCARF1 expression was associated with poorly differentiated/aggressive tumors. Additionally, higher SCARF1 expression in HCC tumor tissues was highly prognostic of better overall, disease-free and progression-free survival. SCARF1 within HCC was largely associated with tumor endothelial cells and adhesion studies suggested that it played a role in the specific recruitment of proinflammatory CD4+ T cells (CD4+CD25−) to HCC tumor tissues. Endothelial SCARF1 expression in tumor biopsies may provide critical prognostic information. Additionally, SCARF1 may also be a novel endothelial target that could help re-programme the microenvironment of HCC by promoting effector T cell tumor infiltration.
Original languageEnglish
Article number565950
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sept 2020


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