Long noncoding RNA AC092171.4 promotes hepatocellular carcinoma progression by sponging microRNA-1271 and upregulating GRB2

Aging (Albany NY). 2020 Jul 21;12(14):14141-14156. doi: 10.18632/aging.103419. Epub 2020 Jul 21.


In this study, we investigated the mechanistic role of the long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) AC092171.4 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). AC092171.4 was significantly upregulated in HCC tumor tissues compared to normal liver tissues. HCC patients with high AC092171.4 expression showed poorer overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) than those with low AC092171.4 expression. In vitro cell proliferation, migration and invasiveness were all higher in AC092171.4-overexpressing HCC cells, but lower in AC092171.4-silenced HCC cells, than in controls. Balb/c nude mice injected with AC092171.4-silenced HCC cells had smaller xenograft tumors, which showed less growth and pulmonary metastasis than control tumors. Bioinformatics analyses and dual luciferase reporter assays confirmed that AC092171.4 binds directly to miR-1271, which targets the 3'UTR of GRB2 mRNA. AC092171.4 expression correlates negatively with miR1271 expression and correlates positively with GRB2 mRNA expression in HCC tissues from patients. HCC cells co-transfected with miR-1271 mimics and sh-AC092171.4 show less proliferation, migration, invasiveness, GRB2 protein, and epithelial to mesencyhmal transition (EMT) than sh-AC092171.4-transfected HCC cells. These findings demonstrate that AC092171.4 promotes growth and progression of HCC by sponging miR-1271 and upregulating GRB2. This makes AC092171.4 a potential prognostic indicator and therapeutic target for HCC patients.

Keywords: AC092171.4; cancer; epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition; hepatocellular carcinoma; survival.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't