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Characterization of the biological role of ARL6IP5 in HCV-induced liver cancer


This project suits someone with the intention to work towards PhD or Master's degrees.


Dr Liang Qiao, Professor Jacob George.

Research location

Westmead - Westmead Institute for Medical Research

Program type



Liver cancer is a prime example of inflammation-related malignancy. Hepatitis C and hepatitis B virus (HCV, HBV) infection account for the majority of cases of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), with HCV being the major cause in many countries including Australia. Currently, more than 170 million people worldwide (3% of the world population) are chronically-infected with HCV. HCV-induced HCC is an important health threat but yet the precise mechanisms of how HCV induces malignant transformation of hepatocytes are not fully clarified. Using microarray analysis, we recently identified a novel gene ADP-ribosylation-like factor 6 interacting protein 5 (ARL6IP5) that was significantly up-regulated during HCV infection.

Our preliminary in vitro data have shown that HCV infection led to an up-regulation of ARL6IP5 in HuH7 cells, which then promotes the proliferation and colony formation of HCC cells. Further studies have shown that ARL6IP5 possesses oncogenic role during HCC development. Based on these novel data, we propose that ARL6IP5 may be mechanistically involved in HCV-associated liver cancer and may serve as a molecular therapeutic target. In this project, we will characterize the biological role of ARL6IP5 in liver cancer. A wide spectrum of in vitro and in vivo studies are to be performed.

Additional information

About the Storr Liver Unit
The Western Clinical School's Storr Liver Unit investigates the pathogenesis of liver disease, and the diverse causes of liver injury, such as drugs and toxins, metabolic factors and viruses. Internationally acclaimed, the Unit has made substantial contributions to defining how the liver responds to injury, and how genes involved in the metabolisms of drugs and toxic products of liver metabolism are regulated.
Liver cancer is Australia's fastest growing cancer, and this is an opportunity to take a role in the research of this emerging health focus. The Unit is well funded and thus there is the opportunity to employed cutting edge techniques and tools to bring each project to fruition. Joining a successful research team with expertise in liver disease and cancer, there will also be opportunity to collaborate with internationally-renowned cancer researchers at the Westmead Millennium Institute. As part of the community of over 400 researchers based on the Westmead campus, there will be the possibility to utilise the Institute's state-of-the-art molecular, translational and cell biological facilities.

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Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 1316

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