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miRNA-320a inhibits tumor proliferation and invasion by targeting c-Myc in human hepatocellular carcinoma

Authors Xie F, Yuan Y, Xie L, Ran P, Xiang X, Huang Q, Qi G, Guo X, Xiao C, Zheng S

Received 22 September 2016

Accepted for publication 6 December 2016

Published 15 February 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 885—894


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Ashok Kumar Pandurangan

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Tohru Yamada

Fei Xie,1,* Yuncang Yuan,1,* Luyang Xie,2,* Pengzhan Ran,1 Xudong Xiang,3 Qionglin Huang,1 Guoxiang Qi,1 Xiaopeng Guo,1 Chunjie Xiao,1 Shangyong Zheng1

1School of Medicine, Yunnan University, Kunming, Yunnan, 2Department of Stomatology, Shanghai Tenth People’s Hospital, Shanghai, 3Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical University, Kunming, Yunnan, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: Downregulated expression levels of microRNA-320a (miR-320a) were found in primary breast cancers and colorectal cancer. Previous findings indicated that miRNA-320a may involve in the cancer development. In this study, we explored the roles of miR-320a by targeting c-Myc in the tumor growth of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Methods: Quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was performed to detect the expression of miR-320a in 50 HCC tissues and four HCC cells. Luciferase reporter assay was conducted to confirm the direct downstream target of miR-320a in HEK-293 cells. The effect of miR-320a on endogenous c-Myc expression was investigated by transfecting miR-320a mimics into HepG2 and QGY-7703 cell lines. The c-Myc and miR-320a expressions were analyzed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and qRT-PCR in the same HCC tissues. Furthermore, the biological functional correlation of miR-320a with c-Myc was determined by studying the effect of miR-320a mimics or c-Myc small interfering RNA (siRNA) on HCC cell proliferation and invasion.
The expression of miR-320a was downregulated in 50 HCC tissues and 4 HCC cells. Luciferase assay revealed that c-Myc is a direct target of miR-320a. IHC and Western blot analysis showed that the c-Myc expression was inhibited by miR-320a in HCC tissues and cell lines. Upregulation of miR-320a suppressed the HCC cell proliferation and invasion capacity induced by inhibiting c-Myc, and the results were consistent with the effects of c-Myc siRNA on tumor suppression. These results revealed that miRNA-320a inhibits tumor proliferation and invasion by targeting c-Myc in HCC cells.
Conclusion: Our results showed that miR-320a functions as a tumor suppressor in HCC. By targeting c-Myc directly, miR-320a inhibits the HCC cell growth. Our studies provide evidence of miR-320a as a potentially target for HCC treatment.

Keywords: miR-320a, hepatocellular carcinoma, c-Myc, tumor suppressors

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