Journal Article

Epigenetic activation of the MiR-200 family contributes to H19-mediated metastasis suppression in hepatocellular carcinoma

Ling Zhang, Fu Yang, Ji-hang Yuan, Sheng-xian Yuan, Wei-ping Zhou, Xi-song Huo, Dan Xu, Hai-shan Bi, Fang Wang and Shu-han Sun

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 34, issue 3, pages 577-586
Published in print March 2013 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online December 2012 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Epigenetic activation of the MiR-200 family contributes to H19-mediated metastasis suppression in hepatocellular carcinoma

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Although numerous long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been identified in mammals, many of their biological roles remain to be characterized. Early reports suggest that H19 contributes to carcinogenesis, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Examination of the Oncomine resource showed that most HCC cases express H19 at a level that is comparable with the liver, with a tendency toward lower expression. This is consistent with our previous microarray data and indicates a more complicated role of H19 in HCC that needs to be characterized. In this study, the expression level of H19 was assessed in different regions of HCC patients’ liver samples. Loss- and gain-of-function studies on this lncRNA in the HCC cell lines, SMMC7721 and HCCLM3, were used to characterize its effects on gene expression and to assess its effect on HCC metastasis both in vitro and in vivo. In this study, we show that H19 was underexpressed in intratumoral HCC tissues (T), as compared with peritumoral tissues (L). Additionally, low T/L ratio of H19 predicted poor prognosis. H19 suppressed HCC progression metastasis and the expression of markers of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. Furthermore, H19 associated with the protein complex hnRNP U/PCAF/RNAPol II, activating miR-200 family by increasing histone acetylation. The results demonstrate that H19 can alter the miR-200 pathway, thus contributing to mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition and to the suppression of tumor metastasis. These data provide an explanation for the hitherto puzzling literature on the relationship between H19 and cancer, and could suggest the development of combination therapies that target H19 and the miR-200 family.

Journal Article.  6322 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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