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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009 Sep 18;387(2):239-44. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2009.06.128. Epub 2009 Jun 27.

Dual knockdown of N-ras and epiregulin synergistically suppressed the growth of human hepatoma cells.

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Department of Oncology, Institute of Medicinal Biotechnology, Peking Union Medical College, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100050, China.


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a major challenge because of its resistance to conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Multi-targeted therapy might be a new option for HCC treatment. Our previous study showed that N-ras gene was activated in HCC and was inhibited by RNA interference. In the present study, we investigated the alternation of gene expression by microarray in N-Ras-siRNA-treated HepG2 cells. The results revealed that the EREG gene, encoding epiregulin, was dramatically up-regulated in response to silence of N-ras. We speculated that the up-regulation of epiregulin was involved in the compensatory mechanism of N-ras knockdown for cell growth. Therefore, we evaluated whether dual silence of N-ras and epiregulin display a greater suppression of cell growth. The results confirmed that dual knockdown of N-ras and epiregulin synergistically inhibited cell growth. Our results also showed that dual knockdown of N-ras and epiregulin significantly induced cell arrest at G0/G1 phase. Furthermore, Western blot assay showed that dual knockdown of N-ras and epiregulin markedly reduced the phosphorylations of ERK1/2, Akt and Rb, and inhibited the expression of cyclin D1. Our findings imply that multi-targeted silence of oncogenes might be an effective treatment for HCC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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