MicroRNA-122 inhibits tumorigenic properties of hepatocellular carcinoma cells and sensitizes these cells to sorafenib.
ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs are negative regulators of protein coding genes. The liver-specific microRNA-122 (miR-122) is frequently suppressed in primary hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs). In situ hybridization demonstrated that miR-122 is abundantly expressed in hepatocytes but barely detectable in primary human HCCs. Ectopic expression of miR-122 in nonexpressing HepG2, Hep3B, and SK-Hep-1 cells reversed their tumorigenic properties such as growth, replication potential, clonogenic survival, anchorage-independent growth, migration, invasion, and tumor formation in nude mice. Further, miR-122-expressing HCC cells retained an epithelial phenotype that correlated with reduced Vimentin expression. ADAM10 (a distintegrin and metalloprotease family 10), serum response factor (SRF), and insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (Igf1R) that promote tumorigenesis were validated as targets of miR-122 and were repressed by the microRNA. Conversely, depletion of the endogenous miR-122 in Huh-7 cells facilitated their tumorigenic properties with concomitant up-regulation of these targets. Expression of SRF or Igf1R partially reversed tumor suppressor function of miR-122. Further, miR-122 impeded angiogenic properties of endothelial cells in vitro. Notably, ADAM10, SRF, and Igf1R were up-regulated in primary human HCCs compared with the matching liver tissue. Co-labeling studies demonstrated exclusive localization of miR-122 in the benign livers, whereas SRF predominantly expressed in HCC. More importantly, growth and clonogenic survival of miR-122-expressing HCC cells were significantly reduced upon treatment with sorafenib, a multi-kinase inhibitor clinically effective against HCC. Collectively, these results suggest that the loss of multifunctional miR-122 contributes to the malignant phenotype of HCC cells, and miR-122 mimetic alone or in combination with anticancer drugs can be a promising therapeutic regimen against liver cancer.
Project description:The only first-line treatment approved for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is sorafenib. Since many patients experience drug resistance, the discovery of more effective therapeutic strategies represents an unmet clinical need. MicroRNA (MiR)-122 is downregulated in most HCCs, while oncogenic SerpinB3 is upregulated. Here, we assessed the relationship between miR-122 and SerpinB3 and their influence on cell phenotype and sorafenib resistance in HCC. A bioinformatics analysis identified SerpinB3 among hypothetical miR-122 targets. In SerpinB3-overexpressing HepG2 cells, miR-122 transfection decreased SerpinB3 mRNA and protein levels, whereas miR-122 inhibition increased SerpinB3 expression. Luciferase assay demonstrated the interaction between miR-122 and SerpinB3 mRNA. In an HCC rat model, high miR-122 levels were associated with negative SerpinB3 expression, while low miR-122 levels correlated with SerpinB3 positivity. A negative correlation between miR-122 and SerpinB3 or stem cell markers was found in HCC patients. Anti-miR-122 transfection increased cell viability in sorafenib-treated Huh-7 cells, while miR-122 overexpression increased sorafenib sensitivity in treated cells, but not in those overexpressing SerpinB3. In conclusion, we demonstrated that miR-122 targets SerpinB3, and its low levels are associated with SerpinB3 positivity and a stem-like phenotype in HCC. MiR-122 replacement therapy in combination with sorafenib deserves attention as a possible therapeutic strategy in SerpinB3-negative HCCs.
Project description:MicroRNA 122 (miR-122) is a tumor suppressor for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) but is lowly expressed in HCC cells. MiR-151 is aberrantly overexpressed in HCC cells and promotes HCC metastasis yet its roles on HCC tumorigenicity are unknown. To combat HCC tumorigenicity/metastasis, we developed Sleeping Beauty (SB)-based hybrid baculovirus (BV) vectors that expressed (i) miR-122 precursors (pre-miR-122), (ii) miR-151 sponges, or (iii) pre-miR-122 and miR-151 sponges. Transduction of aggressive HCC cells (Mahlavu) with the pre-miR-122-expressing BV tremendously enhanced miR-122 levels for >6 weeks, suppressed the levels of downstream effectors (e.g., ADAM10 and Bcl-w), proliferation, anchorage-independent growth, motility and migration/invasion in vitro. Intratumoral injection of the pre-miR-122-expressing BV attenuated the HCC growth/metastasis. The miR-151 sponges-expressing BV diminished the miR-151 levels for 6 weeks, enhanced RhoGDIA expression, suppressed RhoGTPases, as well as motility and migration/invasion of Mahlavu cells. Intratumoral injection of the miR-151 sponge-expressing BV impeded not only HCC metastasis but also cell proliferation, MMP expression and tumor growth in vivo. The BV co-expressing pre-miR-122 and miR-151 sponges also simultaneously enhanced miR-122 expression and inhibited miR-151, and conferred antitumor/anti-metastasis effects albeit lack of synergism. These data implicate the potentials of the SB-based hybrid BV for persistently modulating miRNA and suppressing HCC tumorigenicity/metastasis.
Project description:Downregulation of MicroRNA-122 (miR-122) and its association with cancer progression have been reported in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell line models and a limited number of HCC samples. Recently, restoration of miR-122 expression by direct delivery of miR-122 yielded promising results in HCCs. However, the prognostic effect of miR-122 expression in human HCC samples is not fully understood. We investigated the expression level of miR-122 by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction in 289 curatively resected HCC samples and 20 normal liver samples and evaluated the prognostic effect of miR-122 expression. The relative quantification value of miR-122 was much lower in HCC samples than in normal liver tissues. During a median 119 months of follow-up for survival, the low miR-122 expression group showed shorter recurrence-free survival (RFS) (p = 0.033) and intrahepatic recurrence-free survival (IHRFS) (p = 0.014), and a trend of short distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS) (p = 0.149) than high expression group. On multivariate analysis, miR-122 expression was an independent prognostic factor for RFS, IHRFS and DMFS. Downregulation of miR-122 expression, frequently found in HCC samples, was an independent prognostic factor for RFS after curative resection. Emerging therapeutic approaches targeting miR-122 could be applicable in patients with miR-122 downregulated hepatocellular carcinoma.
Project description:Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is an aggressive tumor, with a high mortality rate due to late symptom presentation and frequent tumor recurrences and metastasis. It is also a rapidly growing tumor supported by different metabolic mechanisms; nevertheless, the biological and molecular mechanisms involved in the metabolic reprogramming in HCC are unclear. In this study, we found that pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) was frequently over-expressed in human HCCs and its over-expression was associated with aggressive clinicopathological features and poor prognosis of HCC patients. Furthermore, knockdown of PKM2 suppressed aerobic glycolysis and cell proliferation in HCC cell lines in vitro. Importantly, knockdown of PKM2 hampered HCC growth in both subcutaneous injection and orthotopic liver implantation models, and reduced lung metastasis in vivo. Of significance, PKM2 over-expression in human HCCs was associated with a down-regulation of a liver-specific microRNA, miR-122. We further showed that miR-122 interacted with the 3UTR of the PKM2 gene. Re-expression of miR-122 in HCC cell lines reduced PKM2 expression, decreased glucose uptake in vitro, and suppressed HCC tumor growth in vivo. Our clinical data and functional studies have revealed a novel biological mechanism involved in HCC metabolic reprogramming.
Project description:miR-122, an abundant liver-specific microRNA (miRNA), regulates cholesterol metabolism and promotes hepatitis C virus (HCV) replication. Reduced miR-122 expression in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) correlates with metastasis and poor prognosis. Nevertheless, the consequences of sustained loss of function of miR-122 in vivo have not been determined. Here, we demonstrate that deletion of mouse Mir122 resulted in hepatosteatosis, hepatitis, and the development of tumors resembling HCC. These pathologic manifestations were associated with hyperactivity of oncogenic pathways and hepatic infiltration of inflammatory cells that produce pro-tumorigenic cytokines, including IL-6 and TNF. Moreover, delivery of miR-122 to a MYC-driven mouse model of HCC strongly inhibited tumorigenesis, further supporting the tumor suppressor activity of this miRNA. These findings reveal critical functions for miR-122 in the maintenance of liver homeostasis and have important therapeutic implications, including the potential utility of miR-122 delivery for selected patients with HCC and the need for careful monitoring of patients receiving miR-122 inhibition therapy for HCV.
Project description:Background:Osteosarcoma is a malignant bone tumor. Increasing evidences have revealed that a disintegrin and metalloproteinase 10 (ADAM10) is implicated in tumor development. The main purpose of this study is to explore the effects of ADAM10 on osteosarcoma cell functions and the underlying molecular mechanisms. Methods:Western blot and quantitative real-time PCR were performed to detect the expression of ADAM10 in one osteoblast (hFOB 1.19) and six osteosarcoma cells (Saos-2, SW1353, HOS, U-2OS, MG63, and 143B). The biological functions of ADAM10 in osteosarcoma cells were measured by cell counting kit-8 assay, flow cytometry, wound healing assay, and transwell assay. The interaction between miR-122-5p and ADAM10 was validated using dual-luciferase reporter assay. The effect of ADAM10 on the tumorigenicity of osteosarcoma cells was evaluated in a nude mice model in vivo. Results:We found that the expression of ADAM10 was relatively high in osteosarcoma cells compared with that in osteoblast. ADAM10 promoted osteosarcoma cell growth, migration, and invasion. Mechanism studies showed that knockdown of ADAM10 inactivated E-cadherin/?-catenin signaling pathway, as evidenced by increased the level of E-cadherin, reduced nuclear translocation of ?-catenin, and decreased the levels of MMP-9, Cyclin D1, c-Myc, and Survivin. Downregulation of ADAM10 suppressed the tumorigenicity of osteosarcoma cells in vivo. Furthermore, ADAM10 was validated to be a downstream target of microRNA-122-5p (miR-122-5p). MiR-122-5p-induced inhibition of cell proliferation, migration, and invasion was reversed by overexpression of ADAM10 in osteosarcoma cells. Conclusions:Collectively, the key findings of this study are that ADAM10 promotes osteosarcoma cell proliferation, migration, and invasion by regulating E-cadherin/?-catenin signaling pathway, and miR-122-5p can target ADAM10, indicating that miR-122-5p/ADAM10 axis might serve as a therapeutic target of osteosarcoma.
Project description:The loss of microRNA-122 (miR-122) expression correlates to many characteristic properties of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells, including clonogenic survival, anchorage-independent growth, migration, invasion, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and tumorigenesis. However, all of these findings do not sufficiently explain the oncogenic potential of miR-122. In the current study, we used two-dimensional differential in-gel electrophoresis to measure changes in the expression of thousands of proteins in response to the inhibition of miR-122 in human hepatoma cells. Several proteins that were upregulated on miR-122 inhibition were involved in the unfolded protein response (UPR) pathway. The overexpression of miR-122 resulted in the repression of UPR pathway activation. Therefore, miR-122 may act as an inhibitor of the chaperone gene expression and negatively regulate the UPR pathway in HCC. We further showed that the miR-122 inhibitor enhanced the stability of the 26S proteasome non-ATPase regulatory subunit 10 (PSMD10) through the up-regulation of its target gene cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4). This process may activate the UPR pathway to prevent chemotherapy-mediated tumor cell apoptosis. The current study suggests that miR-122 negatively regulates the UPR through the CDK4-PSMD10 pathway. The down-regulation of miR-122 activated the CDK4-PSMD10-UPR pathway to decrease tumor cell anticancer drug-mediated apoptosis. We identified a new HCC therapeutic target and proclaimed the potential risk of the therapeutic use of miR-122 silencing.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:It is well established that the liver-specific miR-122, a bona fide tumor suppressor, plays a critical role in lipid homeostasis. However, its role, if any, in amino acid metabolism has not been explored. Since glutamine (Gln) is a critical energy and anaplerotic source for mammalian cells, we assessed Gln metabolism in control wild type (WT) mice and miR-122 knockout (KO) mice by stable isotope resolved metabolomics (SIRM) studies. METHODS:Six-to eight-week-old WT and KO mice and 12- to 15-month-old liver tumor-bearing mice were injected with [U-13C5,15N2]-L-Gln, and polar metabolites from the liver tissues were analyzed by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imaging and ion chromatography-mass spectrometry (IC-MS). Gln-metabolism was also assessed in a Gln-dependent hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell line (EC4). Expressions of glutaminases (Gls and Gls2) were analyzed in mouse livers and human primary HCC samples. RESULTS:The results showed that loss of miR-122 promoted glutaminolysis but suppressed gluconeogenesis in mouse livers as evident from the buildup of 13C- and/or 15N-Glu and decrease in glucose-6-phosphate (G6P) levels, respectively, in KO livers. Enhanced glutaminolysis is consistent with the upregulation of expressions of Gls (kidney-type glutaminase) and Slc1a5, a neutral amino acid transporter in KO livers. Both Gls and Slc1a5 were confirmed as direct miR-122 targets by the respective 3'-UTR-driven luciferase assays. Importantly, expressions of Gls and Slc1a5 as well as glutaminase activity were suppressed in a Gln-dependent HCC (EC4) cell line transfected with miR-122 mimic that resulted in decreased 13C-Gln, 13C-á-ketoglutarate, 13C-isocitrate, and 13C-citrate levels. In contrast, 13C-phosphoenolpyruvate and 13C-G6P levels were elevated in cells expressing ectopic miR-122, suggesting enhanced gluconeogenesis. Finally, The Cancer Genome Atlas-Liver Hepatocellular Carcinoma (TCGA-LIHC) database analysis showed that expression of GLS is negatively correlated with miR-122 in primary human HCCs, and the upregulation of GLS RNA is associated with higher tumor grade. More importantly, patients with higher expressions of GLS or SLC1A5 in tumors exhibited poor survival compared with those expressing lower levels of these proteins. CONCLUSIONS:Collectively, these results show that miR-122 modulates Gln metabolism both in vitro and in vivo, implicating the therapeutic potential of miR-122 in HCCs that exhibit relatively high GLS levels.
Project description:Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) has emerged as a common cause of chronic liver disease and virus-independent hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. To reveal the molecular mechanism underlying hepatocarcinogenesis from NASH, microRNA (miRNA) expression profiles were analyzed in STAM mice, a NASH-HCC animal model. MicroRNA expression was also examined in 42 clinical samples of HCC tissue. Histopathological images of the liver of STAM mice at the ages of 6, 8, 12, and 18 weeks showed findings compatible with fatty liver, NASH, liver cirrhosis (LC), and HCC, respectively. Expression of miR-122 in non-tumor LC at the age of 18 weeks was significantly lower than that in LC at the age of 12 weeks. Expression of miR-122 was further decreased in HCCs relative to non-tumor LC at the age of 18 weeks. Expression of miR-122 was also decreased in clinical samples of liver tissue showing macrovesicular steatosis and HCC, being consistent with the findings in the NASH model mice. DNA methylation analysis revealed that silencing of miR-122 was not mediated by DNA hypermethylation of the promoter region. These results suggest that silencing of miR-122 is an early event during hepatocarcinogenesis from NASH, and that miR-122 could be a novel molecular marker for evaluating the risk of HCC in patients with NASH.
Project description:Transforming growth factor-? (TGF-?) is a potent cytokine that promotes the development of fibrogenic cells, stimulates the expression of fibrosis-related genes, and consequently results in hepatic fibrogenesis. The involvement of miRNAs in this process remains largely unknown. We showed that miR-122 was substantially expressed in hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) and fibroblasts, the major sources of fibrogenic cells in liver tissues. Notably, exposure to TGF-? led to significant downregulation of miR-122. Furthermore, reintroduction of miR-122 suppressed TGF-?-induced expression of fibrosis-related genes, including alpha smooth muscle actin (?-SMA), fibronectin 1 (FN1) and ?1 type I collagen (COL1A1), in HSCs and fibroblasts. Subsequent mechanism investigations revealed that miR-122 directly inhibited FN1 expression by binding to its 3'-untranslated region and indirectly reduced the transcription of ?-SMA and COL1A1 by inhibiting the expression of serum response factor (SRF), a key transcription factor that mediated the activation of fibrogenic cells. Further in vivo studies disclosed that intravenous injection of miR-122-expressing lentivirus successfully increased miR-122 level and reduced the amount of collagen fibrils, FN1 and SRF in the livers of CCl4-treated mice. These findings disclose a novel TGF-?-miR-122-FN1/SRF signaling cascade and its implication in hepatic fibrogenesis, and suggest miR-122 as a promising molecular target for anti-fibrosis therapy.