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Hepatology. 2011 Nov;54(5):1679-89. doi: 10.1002/hep.24563. Epub 2011 Sep 6.

Long noncoding RNA high expression in hepatocellular carcinoma facilitates tumor growth through enhancer of zeste homolog 2 in humans.

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


In recent years, long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been shown to have critical regulatory roles in cancer biology. However, the contributions of lncRNAs to hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remain largely unknown. Differentially expressed lncRNAs between HBV-related HCC and paired peritumoral tissues were identified by microarray and validated using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Liver samples from patients with HBV-related HCC were analyzed for levels of a specific differentially expressed lncRNA High Expression In HCC (termed lncRNA-HEIH); data were compared with survival data using the Kaplan-Meier method and compared between groups by the log-rank test. The effects of lncRNA-HEIH were assessed by silencing and overexpressing the lncRNA in vitro and in vivo. The expression level of lncRNA-HEIH in HBV-related HCC is significantly associated with recurrence and is an independent prognostic factor for survival. We also found that lncRNA-HEIH plays a key role in G(0) /G(1) arrest, and further demonstrated that lncRNA-HEIH was associated with enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) and that this association was required for the repression of EZH2 target genes.


Together, these results indicate that lncRNA-HEIH is an oncogenic lncRNA that promotes tumor progression and leads us to propose that lncRNAs may serve as key regulatory hubs in HCC progression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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