The novel miR-1269b-regulated protein SVEP1 induces hepatocellular carcinoma proliferation and metastasis likely through the PI3K/Akt pathway

Cell Death Dis. 2020 May 5;11(5):320. doi: 10.1038/s41419-020-2535-8.


Decreased intercellular adhesion is a key step in the metastasis and recurrence of many cancers, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). SVEP1 is an important cell adhesion molecule that plays a key role in regulating intercellular adhesion and embryonic lymphatic development. However, the expression patterns and roles of SVEP1 in HCC are still largely unknown. We identified SVEP1 expression by analyzing 220 HCC samples from our cancer center. TCGA and GEO online-databases were used for data calibration and validation. SVEP1 was differentially expressed in two groups of HCCs with different risks of recurrence and was deemed as an independent risk factor for the prognosis of HCC. The expression of SVEP1 is negatively related to the proliferation and metastasis of HCC. Downregulation of SVEP1 expression promoted in vitro HCC cell migration, chemotaxis, invasion and proliferation, as well as in vivo tumor growth, local invasion and metastasis in a mouse model. Bioinformatic analysis and RT-PCR results showed that miR-1269b expression is negatively correlated with the SVEP1 expression and the prognosis of HCC patients. Further experiments showed that miR-1269b directly targets and downregulates the expression of SVEP1, which further induces the phosphorylation of Akt at thr308. These regulatory effects ultimately mediate the proliferation and metastasis of HCC cells. SVEP1 could serve as a promising prognostic marker of HCC. MiR-1269b downregulates SVEP1 expression and promotes HCC proliferation and metastasis likely through the PI3k/Akt signaling pathway.