EZH2-mediated loss of miR-622 determines CXCR4 activation in hepatocellular carcinoma

Nat Commun. 2015 Sep 25:6:8494. doi: 10.1038/ncomms9494.


The CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) exerts a variety of functions at different steps of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) progression. The molecular mechanisms and therapeutic value of CXCR4 in the development of HCC remain undefined. Here we show that aberrant CXCR4 overexpression is associated with poor prognosis and aggressive characteristics of HCC. Suppression of CXCR4 activity via CXCR4 knockdown, AMD3100 or neutralizing antibody administration inhibits hepatoma cell tumorigenesis in vitro and in vivo. CXCR4 overexpression displays the opposite effects. Using Mir library screening we identify miR-622 as a regulator of CXCR4. Further studies show that miR-622 directly target the 3' untranslated region of CXCR4 and is transcriptionally repressed by EZH2-induced H3K27 trimethylation and promoter methylation. EZH2/miR-622 promotes tumorigenesis through CXCR4. EZH2-mediated loss of miR-622 is found to correlate with CXCR4 overexpression and unfavourable prognosis in HCC patients. This study establishes EZH2/miR-622/CXCR4 as a potential adverse prognostic factor and therapeutic target for HCC patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3' Untranslated Regions
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinogenesis / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / genetics*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Disease Progression
  • Enhancer of Zeste Homolog 2 Protein
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Hep G2 Cells
  • Histones / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Male
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 / genetics*
  • Prognosis
  • Receptors, CXCR4 / genetics*
  • Young Adult


  • 3' Untranslated Regions
  • CXCR4 protein, human
  • Histones
  • MIRN622 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs
  • Receptors, CXCR4
  • EZH2 protein, human
  • Enhancer of Zeste Homolog 2 Protein
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 2