Background & aims: Long non-coding RNA Hotair has been considered as a pro-oncogene in multiple cancers. Although there is emerging evidence that reveals its biological function and the association with clinical prognosis, the precise mechanism remains largely elusive.
Methods: We investigated the function and mechanism of Hotair in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell models and a xenograft mouse model. The regulatory network between miR-218 and Hotair was elucidated by RNA immunoprecipitation and luciferase reporter assays. Finally, the correlation between Hotair, miR-218 and the target gene Bmi-1 were evaluated in 52 paired HCC specimens.
Results: In this study, we reported that Hotair negatively regulated miR-218 expression in HCC, which might be mediated through an EZH2-targeting-miR-218-2 promoter regulatory axis. Further investigation revealed that Hotair knockdown dramatically inhibited cell viability and induced G1-phase arrest in vitro and suppressed tumorigenicity in vivo by promoting miR-218 expression. Oncogene Bmi-1 was shown to be a functional target of miR-218, and the main downstream targets signaling, P16(Ink4a) and P14(ARF), were activated in Hotair-suppressed tumorigenesis. In primary human HCC specimens, Hotair and Bmi-1 were concordantly upregulated whereas miR-218 was downregulated in these tissues. Furthermore, Hotair was inversely associated with miR-218 expression and positively correlated with Bmi-1 expression in these clinical tissues.
Conclusion: Hotair silence activates P16(Ink4a) and P14(ARF) signaling by enhancing miR-218 expression and suppressing Bmi-1 expression, resulting in the suppression of tumorigenesis in HCC.
Keywords: Hepatocellular carcinoma; Hotair; P14; P16; microR-218.
Copyright © 2015 European Association for the Study of the Liver. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.