Introduction: long non-coding RNA ANRIL (lncRNA ANRIL) has been demonstrated to play a crucial role in cancer progression. However, its effects in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) have not been explored. The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical significance of lncRNA NRIL in human HCC.
Methods: In this study, we determined for the first time the expression of lncRNA ANRIL in human HCC by quantitative Real-time-PCR analysis. Kaplan-Meier curves and multivariate Cox proportional models were used to study the impact on clinical outcome. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) was used to silence lncRNA ANRIL and to explore the effects of reduced lncRNA ANRIL expression on cell growth and metastasis.
Results: lncRNA ANRIL expression in HCC tissues was significantly higher than in the adjacent non-tumor tissues (P<0.05). The expression of lncRNA ANRIL was remarkably associated with the histologic grade and TNM stage of HCC patients (P<0.05). In addition, HCC patients with higher lncRNA ANRIL expression had significantly poorer overall survival (P<0.05). Multivariate analysis suggested that high lncRNA ANRIL expression was an independent predictor of poor prognosis (P<0.05). Moreover, in vitro assays revealed that the decreased expression of lncRNA ANRIL could suppress the cell proliferation, migration and invasion HCC cells.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that lncRNA ANRIL may serve as an efficient clinical biomarker and a therapeutic target for HCC patients.
Keywords: Hepatocellular carcinoma; invasion; lncRNA ANRIL; migration; overall survival; proliferation.