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J Int Med Res. 2011;39(6):2119-28.

Large intervening non-coding RNA HOTAIR is associated with hepatocellular carcinoma progression.

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  • 1Department of General Surgery, The First Clinical Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, China.


Increasing evidence suggests that large intervening non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs) regulate key pathways in cancer invasion and metastasis. In this observational retrospective study, the expression of the oncogenic lincRNA HOX transcript antisense RNA (HOTAIR) gene was measured in 63 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) following hepatic resection. The HOTAIR gene was significantly overexpressed in HCC tissues compared with adjacent non-tumour tissues. Patients with high HOTAIR gene expression in their tumours had an increased risk of recurrence after hepatectomy. There was also a significant correlation between HOTAIR expression and lymph node metastasis. In vitro assays in the HCC cell line Bel7402 demonstrated that knockdown of HOTAIR lincRNA reduced cell proliferation and was associated with reductions in levels of matrix metalloproteinase-9 and vascular endothelial growth factor protein, which are important for cell motility and metastasis. In conclusion, HOTAIR lincRNA might be a potential biomarker for the existence of lymph node metastasis in HCC.

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