Ovarian tumour domain containing 6B antisense RNA1 (OTUD6B-AS1), a newly identified long noncoding RNA (lncRNA), has been reported as a key cancer-related lncRNA. However, the detailed relevance of OTUD6B-AS1 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains undetermined. This study was designed to determine the functional significance and regulatory mechanism of OTUD6B-AS1 in HCC. We found that the expression of OTUD6B-AS1 was up-regulated in HCC tissues, and patients with high levels of OTUD6B-AS1 expression had shorter survival rates than those with low OTUD6B-AS1 expression. Elevated expression of the lncRNA was also found in multiple HCC cell lines and the silencing of OTUD6B-AS1 significantly decreased proliferation, colony formation and invasion. Correspondingly, OTUD6B-AS1 overexpression had the opposite effect on HCC cell invasion, colony formation and proliferation. Notably, OTUD6B-AS1 was identified as a molecular sponge of microRNA-664b-3p (miR-664b-3p). The down-regulation of miR-664b-3p was detected in HCC tissues and cell lines, and the up-regulation of miR-664b-3p repressed proliferation and invasion in HCC cells by targeting the glycogen synthase kinase-3β interaction protein (GSKIP). Moreover, OTUD6B-AS1 knockdown or miR-664b-3p up-regulation exerted a suppressive effect on Wnt/β-catenin signalling via the down-regulation of GSKIP. In addition, GSKIP overexpression markedly reversed OTUD6B-AS1 knockdown- or miR-664b-3p overexpression-induced antitumour effects in HCC. Further data confirmed that OTUD6B-AS1 knockdown exerted a tumour-inhibition role in HCC in vivo. Overall, these findings indicate that the lncRNA OTUD6B-AS1 accelerates the proliferation and invasion of HCC cells by enhancing GSKIP/Wnt/β-catenin signalling via the sequestration of miR-664b-3p. Our study reveals a novel molecular mechanism, mediated by lncRNA OTUD6B-AS1, which may play a key role in regulating the progression of HCC.
Keywords: GSKIP; Hepatocellular carcinoma; OTUD6B-AS1; Wnt; miR-664b-3p.
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