Abnormal Localization of STK17A in Bile Canaliculi in Liver Allografts: An Early Sign of Chronic Rejection

Ozeki M., Salah A., Aini W., Tamaki K., Haga H., Miyagawa-Hayashino A.

PLOS ONE, vol.10, no.8, 2015 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 10 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0136381
  • Journal Name: PLOS ONE
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Kocaeli University Affiliated: Yes


The biological significance of STK17A, a serine/threonine kinase, in the liver is not known. We analyzed STK17A expression in HepG2 cells and human liver tissue. Accordingly, we investigated whether STK17A could help in identifying earlier changes during the evolution of chronic rejection (CR) after liver transplantation. RT-PCR and immunofluorescence were used to analyze STK17A expression in HepG2 cells. Antibody microarray was performed using human liver samples from CR and healthy donors. Immunohistochemistry was used to verify the clinical utility of STK17A on sequential biopsies for the subsequent development of CR. A novel short isoform of STK17A was found in HepG2 cells. STK17A was localized in the nuclei and bile canaliculi in HepG2 cells and human livers. Microarray of STK17A revealed its decrease in failed liver allografts by CR. During the evolution of CR, the staining pattern of bile canalicular STK17A gradually changed from diffuse linear to focal intermittent. The focal intermittent staining pattern was observed before the definite diagnosis of CR. In conclusion, the present study was the first to find localization of STK17A in normal bile canaliculi. Abnormal expression and localization of STK17A were associated with CR of liver allografts since the early stage of the rejection process.