Inhibition of Arid1a increases stem/progenitor cell-like properties of liver cancer

Cancer Lett. 2022 Oct 10:546:215869. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2022.215869. Epub 2022 Aug 11.


ARID1A, a key subunit of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex, exhibits recurrent mutations in various types of human cancers, including liver cancer. However, the function of ARID1A in the pathogenesis of liver cancer remains controversial. Here, we demonstrate that Arid1a knockout may result in states of different cell differentiation, as indicated by single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) analysis. Bulk RNA-seq also revealed that Arid1a deficiency upregulated these genes related to cell stemness and differentiation, but downregulated genes related to the hepatic functions. Furthermore, we confirmed that deficiency of Arid1a increased the expression of hepatic stem/progenitor cell markers, such as Cd133 and Epcam, and enhanced the self-renewal ability of cells. Mechanistic studies revealed that Arid1a loss remodeled the chromatin accessibility of some genes related to liver functions. Thus, Arid1a deficiency might contribute to cancer development by increasing the number of stem/progenitor-like cells through dysregulating the expression of these genes related to cell stemness, differentiation and liver functions.

Keywords: Cancer stem cell; Cell differentiation; Chromatin accessibility; SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex; scRNA-seq.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromatin
  • Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms*
  • Nuclear Proteins*
  • Stem Cells
  • Transcription Factors


  • ARID1A protein, human
  • Chromatin
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Transcription Factors