The hepatitis B virus-associated estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) was regulated by microRNA-130a in HepG2.2.15 human hepatocellular carcinoma cells

Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai). 2011 Aug;43(8):640-6. doi: 10.1093/abbs/gmr051. Epub 2011 Jun 28.


The estrogen receptors (ERs) play important roles in hepatocarcinogenesis, which is always fostered by persistent hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Recent studies have linked microRNAs (miRNAs) to viral pathogenesis or oncogenesis. ERα could lead to cell cycle progression or inhibition of apoptosis, while ERβ had opposite effects. Here we proposed that HBV affected ERs expression in viral oncogenesis, which might be triggered by miRNAs. The protein expression of ERα in HepG2.2.15 cells was much stronger than that in HepG2 cells, which was not consistent with its mRNA expression in these cells. MicroRNA-130a (miR-130a) was predicted to be a regulator of ERα by targeting its 3' untranslated region (3'-UTR). The enhanced green fluorescence protein (EGFP) reporter experiment confirmed the direct interaction of miR-130a and ERα. Moreover, ERα protein level was inversely correlated with the miR-130a level. Taken together, our studies supported that HBV infection might attenuate miR-130a expression and ERα was a direct target of miR-130a. Difference in miR-130a levels between HepG2 and HepG2.2.15 cells resulted in the difference in ERα expression, implying host-virus crosstalk in viral pathogenesis mediated by miRNAs.

MeSH terms

  • 3' Untranslated Regions
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • DNA Primers
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha / genetics
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / genetics*
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics
  • Hepatitis B virus / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / physiology*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • 3' Untranslated Regions
  • DNA Primers
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha
  • MIRN130 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins