J Cancer 2021; 12(4):1061-1072. doi:10.7150/jca.52413 This issue

Research Paper

LncRNA loc339803 acts as CeRNA of miR-30a-5p to promote the migration and invasion of hepatocellular carcinoma cells

Cailin Xue1,2, Xudong Zhang1,2, Peng Gao1, Xiaohan Cui1,2, Chunfu Zhu1✉, Xihu Qin1✉

1. Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, The Affiliated Changzhou No. 2 People's Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Changzhou, Jiangsu 213003, P.R. China.
2. Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, 211166, P.R. China.

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Xue C, Zhang X, Gao P, Cui X, Zhu C, Qin X. LncRNA loc339803 acts as CeRNA of miR-30a-5p to promote the migration and invasion of hepatocellular carcinoma cells. J Cancer 2021; 12(4):1061-1072. doi:10.7150/jca.52413. Available from https://www.jcancer.org/v12p1061.htm

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Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a most common malignant tumor, has an unfavorable clinical outcome. Emerging evidence has demonstrated that long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) play an important role in the carcinogenesis and progression of HCC. However, the clinical significances and the biological roles of most lncRNAs in HCC remain poorly understood.

Methods: The expression levels of lncRNA loc339803 in HCC tissues and cell lines were determined by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) assay. The cellular sublocalization of loc339803 was determined by fluorescence in situ hybridization and nuclear and cytoplasmic RNA isolation assay. Western blot, CCK-8, Edu, colony formation, migration and invasion assays were used to investigate the roles of loc339803 in HCC progression in vitro. A mouse model for lung metastasis was constructed to evaluate the role of loc339803 in HCC development in vivo. The correlations among loc339803, miR-30a-5p and SNAIL1 were validated by qRT-PCR and a dual- luciferase reporter assay.

Results: The expression of loc339803 was upregulated in HCC tissues and cell lines, and positively correlated with tumor size, advanced tumor stage, higher serum AFP level and poor prognosis of HCC patients. Loc339803 can promote the migration and invasion of HCC cells in vivo and in vitro. Further studies demonstrated that loc339803 functioned as a competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) by directly binding to miR-30a-5p, thus up-regulating the expression of SNAIL1, a target gene of miR-30a-5p. Moreover, miR-30a-5p upregulation blocked the enhanced migration and invasion of HCC cells induced by loc339803 overexpression.

Conclusions: Loc339803 may be oncogenic in HCC and associated with poor clinical outcomes. LncRNA loc339803 might promote the invasion and migration of HCC cells through regulating miR-30a-5p/ SNAIL1 axis.

Keywords: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), long non-coding RNA (lncRNA), miR-30a-5p, SNAIL1, invasion, migration