Over-expression of Thrombospondin 4 correlates with loss of miR-142 and contributes to migration and vascular invasion of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma
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Fang Su1,*, Jun Zhao2,*, Shukui Qin3, Rui Wang1, Yumei Li1, Qiang Wang4, Yi Tan5, Hao Jin5, Fangquan Zhu5, Yurong Ou6, Zenong Cheng6, Wen Su1, Fuyou Zhao1, Yan Yang1, Zhengguang Zhou1, Jiyue Zheng1, Yawei Li1, Zhongwen Li7, Qiong Wu1
1Department of Medical Oncology, First Affiliated Hospital of Bengbu Medical College, Bengbu 233004, Anhui, China
2Department of General Surgery, Yijishan Hospital of Wannan Medical College, Wuhu 241000, Anhui, China
3Department of Medical Oncology, PLA Cancer Center, Nanjing Bayi Hospital, Nanjing 210002, Jiangsu, China
4Department of Information Center, Bengbu Medical College, Bengbu 233030, Anhui, China
5Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, First Affiliated Hospital of Bengbu Medical College, Bengbu 233004, Anhui, China
6Departments of Pathology, First Affiliated Hospital of Bengbu Medical College, Bengbu 233004, Anhui, China
7Department of Biologic Science, Bengbu Medical College, Bengbu 233030, Anhui, China
*These authors have contributed equally to this work
Qiong Wu, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Zhongwen Li, email: email@example.com
Keywords: THBS4, miR-142, hepatocellular carcinoma, migration, vascular invasion
Received: October 21, 2016 Accepted: December 12, 2016 Published: February 03, 2017
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a common malignancy found worldwide and is associated with a high incidence of metastasis and vascular invasion. Elucidating the molecular mechanisms that underlie HCC tumorigenesis and progression is necessary for the development of novel therapeutics. By analyzing the Cancer Genome Atlas Network (TCGA) dataset, we identified Thrombospondin 4 (THBS4) is significantly overexpressed in HCC samples and is correlated with prognosis. Overexpression of THBS4 was also highly correlated with vascular invasion of advanced HCC. While THBS4 is often overexpressed in HCC it has also been shown to inhibit tumor growth by mediating cell-to-cell and cell-to-matrix interactions. Here, we identified that knockdown of THBS4 inhibits migration and invasion of HCC cells and inhibits HCC induced angiogenesis. MiRNAs are crucial regulators of multiple cellular processes, and aberrant expression of miRNAs has been observed to effect cancer development and progression. We further found that miR-142 is an upstream regulator of THBS4 in HCC cells. Moreover, miR-142 was significantly down-regulated in HCC tissue samples and correlated with overexpression of THBS4. Overexpression of miR-142 inhibited invasion and angiogenesis of HCC cells and re-expression of THBS4 overcame these effects of miR-142 expression. Stable over-expression of miR-142 significantly inhibited tumour growth in a xenograft tumour model through inhibiting THBS4 expression and tumor angiogenesis. In conclusion, our findings indicate that loss of miR-142 results in the over-expression of THBS4, which enhances HCC migration and vascular invasion. Thus, targeting THBS4 or miR-142 may provide a promising therapeutic strategy for treatment of advanced HCC.
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