The role of endoglin in hepatocellular carcinoma

Kuo Shyang Jeng, I. Shyan Sheen, Shu Sheng Lin, Chuen Miin Leu, Chiung Fang Chang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Endoglin (CD105) is a type-1 integral transmembrane glycoprotein and coreceptor for transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) ligands. The endoglin/TGF-β signaling pathway regulates hemostasis, cell proliferation/migration, extracellular matrix (ECM) synthesis and angiogenesis. Angiogenesis contributes to early progression, invasion, postoperative recurrence, and metastasis in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), one of the most widespread malignancies globally. Endoglin is overexpressed in newly formed HCC microvessels. It increases microvessel density in cirrhotic and regenerative HCC nodules. In addition, circulating endoglin is present in HCC patients, suggesting potential for use as a diagnostic or prognostic factor. HCC angiogenesis is dynamic and endoglin expression varies by stage. TRC105 (carotuximab) is an antibody against endoglin, and three of its clinical trials were related to liver diseases. A partial response was achieved when combining TRC105 with sorafenib. Although antiangiogenic therapy still carries some risks, combination therapy with endoglin inhibitors or other targeted therapies holds promise.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3208
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal Of Molecular Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2 Mar 2021


  • Angiogenesis
  • Endoglin
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma


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