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Carcinogenesis. 2013 Mar;34(3):577-86. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgs381. Epub 2012 Dec 7.

Epigenetic activation of the MiR-200 family contributes to H19-mediated metastasis suppression in hepatocellular carcinoma.

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1
Department of Medical Genetics, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China.

Abstract

Although numerous long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been identified in mammals, many of their biological roles remain to be characterized. Early reports suggest that H19 contributes to carcinogenesis, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Examination of the Oncomine resource showed that most HCC cases express H19 at a level that is comparable with the liver, with a tendency toward lower expression. This is consistent with our previous microarray data and indicates a more complicated role of H19 in HCC that needs to be characterized. In this study, the expression level of H19 was assessed in different regions of HCC patients' liver samples. Loss- and gain-of-function studies on this lncRNA in the HCC cell lines, SMMC7721 and HCCLM3, were used to characterize its effects on gene expression and to assess its effect on HCC metastasis both in vitro and in vivo. In this study, we show that H19 was underexpressed in intratumoral HCC tissues (T), as compared with peritumoral tissues (L). Additionally, low T/L ratio of H19 predicted poor prognosis. H19 suppressed HCC progression metastasis and the expression of markers of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. Furthermore, H19 associated with the protein complex hnRNP U/PCAF/RNAPol II, activating miR-200 family by increasing histone acetylation. The results demonstrate that H19 can alter the miR-200 pathway, thus contributing to mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition and to the suppression of tumor metastasis. These data provide an explanation for the hitherto puzzling literature on the relationship between H19 and cancer, and could suggest the development of combination therapies that target H19 and the miR-200 family.

PMID:
23222811
DOI:
10.1093/carcin/bgs381
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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