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Let-7g targets collagen type I alpha2 and inhibits cell migration in hepatocellular carcinoma.


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND & AIMS:Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is an aggressive cancer with a poor prognosis mainly due to metastasis. MicroRNAs are endogenous small noncoding RNAs that regulate cellular gene expression and are functionally linked to tumourigenesis. Using microarray analysis, we recently identified 20 miRNAs associated with HCC metastasis. Here, we carried out further analyses on one of these microRNAs, let-7g, to determine whether it is functionally linked to HCC metastasis. METHODS:Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to determine the level of mature let-7g transcript in HCC clinical specimens and its correlation with patient survival. Ectopic expression of let-7g was carried out in HCC cell lines to assess its influence on cell growth, migration, and invasion. RESULTS:We confirmed that the level of let-7g was significantly lower in metastatic HCCs compared to metastasis-free HCCs. Moreover, low let-7g expression in a tumour was predictive of poor survival in HCC patients. Functional studies indicated that ectopic expression of let-7g significantly inhibits HCC cell migration and cell growth. In-silico analysis revealed members of soluble collagens as potential targets of let-7g. Consistently, the levels of type I collagen alpha2 (COL1A2) and let-7g were inversely correlated in HCC clinical specimens. COL1A2 was experimentally validated as a direct target of let-7g. Moreover, addition of COL1A2 counteracted the inhibitory effect of let-7g on cell migration. CONCLUSIONS:These results suggest that let-7g may suppress HCC metastasis partially through targeting COL1A2.

SUBMITTER: Ji J 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC2862772 | BioStudies | 2010-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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