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Oncol Rep. 2017 May;37(5):2811-2818. doi: 10.3892/or.2017.5518. Epub 2017 Mar 21.

HBx represses RIZ1 expression by DNA methyltransferase 1 involvement in decreased miR-152 in hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Department of Medical Genetics and Developmental Biology, Medical School of Southeast University and The Key Laboratory of Developmental Genes and Human Diseases, Ministry of Education, Southeast University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, P.R. China.
Department of Pathology, Southeast University, Zhongda Hospital, Nanjing, Jiangsu, P.R. China.
The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, P.R. China.


Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is mainly suspected to promote hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development by epigenetic alteration. The HBV X protein (HBx) plays a key role in the molecular pathogenesis of HBV-related HCC. However, the mechanism of HBx-mediated hepatocarcinogenesis remains to be elucidated. RIZ1 gene, a candidate HCC suppressor gene, is frequently found to be hypermethylated and downregulated in HCC. In the present study, we show that the expression of RIZ1 was downregulated in 65% HCC tissues. Decreased expression of RIZ1 was restored by 5'-Aza in MHCC-97H HCC cell lines. HBx recombinant transfection increased DNMT1 expression level and suppressed RIZ1 expression. Moreover, knockdown of DNMT1 by siRNA restored RIZ1 expression in HCC cell SMMC-7721 and reduced methylated CpG sites of RIZ1. ChIP results showed that DNMT1 protein could bind to RIZ1 promoter, and this interaction was further enhanced with the transfected HBX recombinant. Moreover, miR-152 was decreased and involved in upregulation of DNMT1 in HBx transfected cells, at least partly, contributed to the epigenetic inactivation of RIZ1. Taken together, our data found that HBx repressed RIZ1 expression via DNMT1, which offered a new mechanism of RIZ1 inactivation in HCC, except for the widely known DNA methylation. These results enriched the epigenetic mechanism by which HBx contributes to pathogenesis of HBV-HCC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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