LncRNA DGCR5 represses the development of hepatocellular carcinoma by targeting the miR-346/KLF14 axis

J Cell Physiol. 2018 Jan;234(1):572-580. doi: 10.1002/jcp.26779. Epub 2018 Sep 14.


Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are a class of regulatory noncoding RNAs. Emerging evidence highlights the critical roles of lncRNAs in the progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Although many lncRNAs have been identified in the development of HCC, the association between DiGeorge syndrome critical region gene 5 (DGCR5) and HCC remains unclear. In the current study, we focused on the biological role of DGCR5 in HCC. We observed that DGCR5 was decreased in HCC cells, including SMCC7721, Hep3B, HepG2, MHCC-97L, MHCC-97H, and SNU449 hepatocellular carcinoma cells, compared with the normal human liver cell line THLE-3 normal human liver cells. In addition, DGCR5 overexpression could repress HCC cell growth, migration, and invasion considerably. Increasing studies have indicated the interactions between lncRNAs and microRNAs. MicroRNAs are endogenous small noncoding RNAs and they can play important roles in tumorigenesis. MicroRNA 346 (miR-346) has been demonstrated in various human cancer types, including HCC. MiR-346 was found to be increased in HCC cells and DGCR5 can act as a sponge of miR-346 to modulate the progression of HCC. The binding correlation between DGCR5 and miR-346 was validated in our research. Subsequently, Krüppel-like factor 14 (KLF14) was predicted as a downstream target of miR-346 and miR-346 can induce the development of HCC by inhibiting KLF14. Finally, we proved that DGCR5 can rescue the inhibited levels of KLF14 repressed by miR-346 mimics in MHCC-97H and Hep3B cells. Taken together, it was indicated in our study that DGCR5 can restrain the progression of HCC through sponging miR-346 and modulating KLF14 in vitro.

Keywords: DiGeorge syndrome critical region gene 5 (DGCR5); Krüppel-like factor 14 (KLF14); hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC); microRNA 346 (miR-346).

MeSH terms

  • Carcinogenesis / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement / genetics
  • Cell Proliferation / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / genetics
  • Hep G2 Cells
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / genetics*
  • Sp Transcription Factors / genetics*


  • KLF14 protein, human
  • MIRN346 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • Sp Transcription Factors
  • long noncoding RNA DGCR5, human