Onco Targets Ther 2016 6;9:2035-47. Epub 2016 Apr 6.
Department of Oncology, The Affiliated Jiangyin Hospital, School of Medicine, Southeast University, Jiangyin, Jiangsu, People's Republic of China.
Objective: To investigate the effects of microRNA-122 (miR-122) on proliferation, migration, and invasion in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells by activating epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) pathways.
Methods: miR-122 mimics, miR-122 inhibitors, relevant control oligonucleotides, and Wnt1 were transfected into HepG2 and huh7 cell lines which were then divided into six groups: miR-122 group, anti-miR-122 group, miR-negative control (NC) group, anti-miR-NC group, miR-122 + Wnt1 group, and miR-122 + vector group. The miR-122 expressions and mRNA expressions of Wnt1 and EMT-related genes (E-cadherin, vimentin, β-cadherin, and N-cadherin) were quantified by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Protein expression levels of Wnt1, E-cadherin, vimentin, β-cadherin, and N-cadherin were measured by Western blot. Cell proliferation, migration, and invasion were evaluated using 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, wound-healing assay, and Transwell assay, respectively.
Results: Dual luciferase reporter gene results showed that Wnt1 is a direct target gene of miR-122 in both HepG2 and huh7 cell lines. Compared to miR-NC, anti-miR-NC, and miR-122 + Wnt1 groups, miR-122 expression was markedly higher in the miR-122 group and miR-122 + vector group, but was sharply decreased in anti-miR-122 group (both P<0.05), and the mRNA and protein levels of Wnt1, vimentin, β-cadherin, and N-cadherin decreased significantly; also E-cadherin increased, and cell proliferation, migration, and invasion decreased in the miR-122 group and miR-122 + vector group (all P<0.05), but the situation was totally reversed in the anti-miR-122 group (all P<0.05).
Conclusion: Downregulation of miR-122 promoted proliferation, migration, and invasion of human HCC cells by targeting Wnt1 and regulating Wnt/β-catenin pathway which activated the EMT pathways.