Background & aims: Portal vein tumor thrombus (PVTT) has previously been demonstrated to correlate with poor prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma. Approximately 50-80% of HCC is accompanied by portal or hepatic vein invasion. The underlying mechanisms of PVTT development remain unclear. This study aimed to elucidate the role of miR-135a in PVTT tumorigenesis.
Methods: In the present study, we investigated the expression of microRNAs and mRNAs in PVTT tissues using advanced microRNA and cDNA microarray techniques. MicroRNA (miR)-135a was noted to be highly over-expressed in PVTT and the cell line CSQT-2 and was selected for further study. We characterized the function of miR-135a in vitro and in vivo. We also analyzed the clinical relevance of miR-135a in relation to the prognosis and survival of HCC patients with PVTT.
Results: Our analyses found that the miRNA and mRNA expression profiles of PVTT were distinct from the parenchyma tumor. Overexpression of miR-135a favors invasive and metastatic behavior in vitro. Furthermore, in a CSQT-2 orthotopic transplantation nude mouse model, blockade of miR-135a significantly reduced PVTT incidence. We also found that miR-135a was transcribed by forkhead box M1 (FOXM1), and metastasis suppressor 1 (MTSS1) was identified as the direct and functional target of miR-135a. Additionally, the cohort analysis revealed the relevance of miR-135a with respect to the prognosis and survival of HCC patients with PVTT.
Conclusions: Our data suggest an important role for miR-135a in promoting PVTT tumorigenesis and indicate the potential application of miR-135a in PVTT therapy.
Copyright © 2011 European Association for the Study of the Liver. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.