LncRNA CCAT1 promotes autophagy via regulating ATG7 by sponging miR-181 in hepatocellular carcinoma

J Cell Biochem. 2019 Oct;120(10):17975-17983. doi: 10.1002/jcb.29064. Epub 2019 Jun 19.


Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a significant clinical challenge, and the mechanisms underlying HCC pathogenesis remain incompletely understood. Colon cancer associated transcript 1 (CCAT1), is one novel long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) which is upregulated in HCC. Autophagy is a vital process in HCC progression, and it is unknown whether CCAT1 regulates autophagy in HCC.

Materials and methods: Immunofluorescence staining and transmission electron microscopy were used to analyze autophagy activity. Luciferase assay was performed to confirm miRNA-181a-5p (miR-181a-5p) bind CCAT1 and ATG7.

Results: CCAT1 levels were higher in tissue and cell lines of HCC. In function research, we found that CCAT1 facilitates HCC cell autophagy and cell proliferation. Our results show that, mechanistically, CCAT1 promotes autophagy through functioning as a sponge for miR-181a-5p, and then regulating ATG7 expression.

Conclusion: Our findings indicate CCAT1 may play a role in regulating autophagy by sponging miR-181a-5p in HCC.

Keywords: autophagy; autophagy-related gene 7; colon cancer associated transcript 1; hepatocellular carcinoma; long noncoding RNA.

MeSH terms

  • Autophagy / genetics*
  • Autophagy-Related Protein 7 / metabolism*
  • Base Sequence
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / ultrastructure
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Liver Neoplasms / ultrastructure
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / genetics
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / metabolism*
  • Up-Regulation / genetics


  • CCAT1 long noncoding RNA, human
  • MIrn181 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • Atg7 protein, human
  • Autophagy-Related Protein 7