[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Based on microarray data, we have previously shown a significant down-regulation of miR-29 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissues. To date, the role of miR-29 deregulation in hepatocarcinogenesis and the signaling pathways by which miR-29 exerts its function and modulates the malignant phenotypes of HCC cells remain largely unknown. In this study, we confirmed that reduced expression of miR-29 was a frequent event in HCC tissues using both Northern blot and real-time quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction. More interestingly, we found that miR-29 down-regulation was significantly associated with worse disease-free survival of HCC patients. Both gain- and loss-of-function studies revealed that miR-29 could sensitize HCC cells to apoptosis that was triggered by either serum starvation and hypoxia or chemotherapeutic drugs, which mimicked the tumor growth environment in vivo and the clinical treatment. Moreover, introduction of miR-29 dramatically repressed the ability of HCC cells to form tumor in nude mice. Subsequent investigation characterized two antiapoptotic molecules, Bcl-2 and Mcl-1, as direct targets of miR-29. Furthermore, silencing of Bcl-2 and Mcl-1 phenocopied the proapoptotic effect of miR-29, whereas overexpression of these proteins attenuated the effect of miR-29. In addition, enhanced expression of miR-29 resulted in the loss of mitochondrial potential and the release of cytochrome c to cytoplasm, suggesting that miR-29 may promote apoptosis through a mitochondrial pathway that involves Mcl-1 and Bcl-2. Conclusion: Our data highlight an important role of miR-29 in the regulation of apoptosis and in the molecular etiology of HCC, and implicate the potential application of miR-29 in prognosis prediction and in cancer therapy.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Growing evidence indicates that deregulation of microRNAs (miRNAs) contributes to tumorigenesis. Down-regulation of miR-195 has been observed in various types of cancers. However, the biological function of miR-195 is still largely unknown. In this study we aimed to elucidate the pathophysiologic role of miR-195. Our results showed that miR-195 expression was significantly reduced in as high as 85.7% of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissues and in all of the five HCC cell lines examined. Moreover, introduction of miR-195 dramatically suppressed the ability of HCC and colorectal carcinoma cells to form colonies in vitro and to develop tumors in nude mice. Furthermore, ectopic expression of miR-195 blocked G(1)/S transition, whereas inhibition of miR-195 promoted cell cycle progression. Subsequent investigation characterized multiple G(1)/S transition-related molecules, including cyclin D1, CDK6, and E2F3, as direct targets of miR-195. Silencing of cyclin D1, CDK6, or E2F3 phenocopied the effect of miR-195, whereas overexpression of these proteins attenuated miR-195-induced G(1) arrest. In addition, miR-195 significantly repressed the phosphorylation of Rb as well as the transactivation of downstream target genes of E2F. These results imply that miR-195 may block the G(1)/S transition by repressing Rb-E2F signaling through targeting multiple molecules, including cyclin D1, CDK6, and E2F3. Conclusion: Our data highlight an important role of miR-195 in cell cycle control and in the molecular etiology of HCC, and implicate the potential application of miR-195 in cancer therapy.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Our knowledge about molecular alterations during hepatocarcinogenesis is still fragmentary, due to lack of comprehensive genetic and epigenetic analyses in the same set of hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs). In this study, we conducted a large-scale analysis, including mutation screening in 50 genes and methylation assays in three genes in 54 pairs of HCCs and their neighboring non-cancerous tissues. All samples were collected from the residents in Southeast China. We found HBV infection and chronic hepatitis/cirrhosis in 83.3% and 98.1% of the cases, respectively. Mutations were identified in 18 out of 54 (33.3%) samples, with p53 alterations in 14 cases and beta-catenin mutations in four tumors. No mutations were identified in the neighboring tissues. Interestingly, 9 out of 14 (64.3%) tumors carrying p53 mutations displayed substitution of serine by arginine at codon 249, a characteristic change believed to be induced by aflatoxin-B1. Furthermore, p53 mutation was significantly associated with shorter recurrence-free survival (P=0.004). The results also revealed aberrant methylation in two or more genes in as high as 90% of tumors and 40% of adjacent tissues. The frequency of RASSF1A hypermethylation was much higher than that of p16INK4a and HAI2 in both HCC and neighboring tissues, indicating that deregulation of RASSF1A may precede the other two genes. These data suggest that aberrant methylation occurs before mutation and is an early event in the development of this set of HCC. Our findings highlight p53 as a prognostic factor of HCC and RASSF1A as a potential target in preventing malignant transformation of hepatocytes.
Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis 06/2008; 641(1-2):27-35. · 3.90 Impact Factor