Introduction: We aimed to characterize the expression of major facilitator superfamily domain-containing protein 2A (MFSD2A) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients and analyze its prognostic value.

Results: Immunohistochemistry revealed that low expression of MFSD2A was present in 37 of 79 cases (46.84%), which was significantly correlated with poor histological differentiation (P = 0.012). The plasma MFSD2A level in HCC patients was significantly lower than in healthy controls (P = 0.0079) and controls with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection (P = 0.0430). Moreover, patients with lower MFSD2A expression had shorter survival than higher expression (P = 0.021). Multivariate analysis revealed that MFSD2A was an independent prognostic predictor for HCC patients (P = 0.027).

Conclusion: The current study indicate MFSD2A may be an optimal diagnostic and prognostic biomarker for HCC.

Methods: First, we examined MFSD2A expression in 24 paired HCC and nontumorous tissues by real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR). Second, the protein levels of MFSD2A in 11 paired HCC and nontumorous tissues were investigated by western blotting (WB). Moreover, MFSD2A protein expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry in 79 HCC patients. In addition, we detected the plasma level of MFSD2A in HCC patients and healthy individuals and investigated the relationship between MFSD2A expression and clinicopathological parameters or prognosis of HCC patients.