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Tumor-associated antigens, such as centromere protein F (CENP‑F), have been recognized as potential serological biomarkers for early diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC); however, the exact regions corresponding to the dominant peptides of CENP‑F antigen remain to be explored. We aimed to screen and evaluate potential dominant peptides of CENP‑F for early diagnosis of HCC. Dominant peptides of CENP‑F were predicted by BioSun version 3.0, and the corresponding recombinant proteins were prepared. Enzyme‑linked immunosorbent assays were conducted for initial screening of dominant peptides, and selected dominant peptides were subjected to further clinical evaluation. Eight dominant peptides of CENP‑F antigens were predicted at amino acids (a.a) 121‑220, 335‑416, 1100‑1265, 1670‑1791, 1759‑2093, 2075‑2210, 2485‑2592, and 2808‑2960. Initial screening of the predicted peptides in samples of 47 HCC cases showed the highest diagnostic value for 121‑220 a.a and 1670‑1791 a.a peptides with area under the curve (AUC) values of 0.795 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.706‑0.884] and 0.809 (95% CI, 0.721‑0.896), sensitivity of 58.3 and 85.4%, and specificity of 93.9 and 65.3%, respectively. Further evaluation of the two peptides in 405 samples comprised of 153 HCC, 126 liver cirrhosis and 126 healthy controls, presenting an AUC of 0.743 (95% CI, 0.674‑0.812) for 121‑220 a.a peptide in detecting early‑stage HCCs. Specifically, the 121‑220 a.a peptide showed a complementary effect in combination with α‑fetoprotein (AFP) for the detection of early‑stage HCC with increased AUC value of 0.840 (95% CI, 0.781‑0.899), and sensitivity of 81.4% and specificity of 72.2%. In conclusion, our study identified the 121‑220 a.a dominant peptide as the region of CENP‑F antigen with the highest immunogenicity and demonstrated its value in combination with AFP for diagnosis of early-stage HCC.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Molecular medicine reports
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