LncRNA ANCR promotes hepatocellular carcinoma metastasis through upregulating HNRNPA1 expression

RNA Biol. 2020 Mar;17(3):381-394. doi: 10.1080/15476286.2019.1708547. Epub 2020 Jan 2.


LncRNA ANCR plays important roles in the modulation of epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) and tumour metastasis in many tumours. However, the role of ANCR in regulating hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) metastasis is still not known. The current study aims to investigate the underlying mechanism for tumour oncogenesis of ANCR in HCC metastasis. HCC cell proliferation and migration/invasion were measured by MTT and Transwell assays. Xenograft model was established to determine the effect of ANCR on HCC growth and metastasis. ChIP assay was used to detect the H3 and H4 histone acetylation levels at the ANCR promoter region. RNA pull-down and RIP assay was performed to analyse the relationship between ANCR and heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A1 (HNRNPA1). Dual-luciferase reporter gene assay was conducted to determine the interaction between ANCR and miR-140-3p. The results indicated that ANCR was highly expressed in HCC tissues and cells, which promoted the proliferation and migration/invasion of HCC cells. In vivo experiments showed interfering ANCR suppressed the growth and metastasis of HCC. H3/H4 histone acetylation levels at the ANCR promoter region were elevated in HCC tissues and cells, and interfering histone deacetylases 3 (HDAC3) significantly up-regulated ANCR expression. ANCR could bind to HNRNPA1, and promoted the expression of HNRNPA1 through regulating its degradation. In addition, ANCR upregulated the expression of HNRNPA1 through sponging miR-140-3p. Finally, we found that ANCR promoted the EMT and invasion/migration of HCC cells through regulating HNRNPA1. In conclusion, ANCR promoted HCC metastasis by upregulating HNRNPA1, inhibiting HNRNPA1 degradation and sponging miR-140-3p.

Keywords: LncRNA ANCR; hepatocellular carcinoma; heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A1; metastasis; miR-140-3p; ubiquitination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement / genetics
  • Cell Proliferation / genetics
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Heterogeneous Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein A1 / genetics*
  • Heterogeneous Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein A1 / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / genetics
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Male
  • Mice, Nude
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • Middle Aged
  • Protein Stability
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / genetics*
  • Up-Regulation
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • ANCR long noncoding RNA, human
  • Heterogeneous Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein A1
  • MicroRNAs
  • Mirn140 microRNA, human
  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • hnRNPA1 protein, human

Grants and funding

This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China [No. 81660166].