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Int J Mol Med. 2012 Dec;30(6):1321-6. doi: 10.3892/ijmm.2012.1140. Epub 2012 Sep 25.

microRNA-29a suppresses cell proliferation by targeting SPARC in hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Key Laboratory of Glycoconjugate Research, Ministry of Public Health, Shanghai 200032, P.R. China.


In the present study, we constructed a lentivirus vector encoding the miR-29a precursor and established two stably infected cell lines, PLC-29a and 97L-29a. The overexpression of miR-29a was confirmed by TaqMan RT-PCR and significantly suppressed the growth of the hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines MHCC-97L and PLC. Dual-luciferase reporter assays indicated that the SPARC mRNA 3'UTR was directly targeted by miR-29a since the mutated 3'UTR was not affected. Silencing SPARC expression by RNAi knockdown resulted in a similar effect as miR-29a overexpression on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell growth regulation. Anti-miR-29a oligonucleotides (AMOs) upregulated the levels of SPARC in the HCC cells. The phosphorylation of AKT/mTOR downstream of SPARC was inhibited in miR-29a-overexpressing HCC cells. We further examined and compared the expression levels of miR-29a in HCC tissues and the corresponding nearby non-cancerous liver tissues of 110 patients with HCC by qRT-PCR, and significantly lower expression of miR-29a was observed in the tissues affected by HCC. Our findings demonstrate that the expression of miR-29a is important in the regulation of the SPARC-AKT pathway and HCC growth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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