Priority Research Papers:

Anti-miR-17 therapy delays tumorigenesis in MYC-driven hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)

Renumathy Dhanasekaran _, Meital Gabay-Ryan, Virginie Baylot, Ian Lai, Adriane Mosley, Xinqiang Huang, Sonya Zabludoff, Jian Li, Vivek Kaimal, Priya Karmali and Dean W. Felsher

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:5517-5528. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.22342

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Renumathy Dhanasekaran1,2,3, Meital Gabay-Ryan2,3, Virginie Baylot2,3, Ian Lai2,3, Adriane Mosley2,3, Xinqiang Huang4, Sonya Zabludoff4, Jian Li4, Vivek Kaimal4, Priya Karmali4 and Dean W. Felsher2,3

1 Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA

2 Division of Oncology, Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA

3 Division of Oncology, Department Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA

4 Regulus Therapeutics, San Diego, CA, USA

Correspondence to:

Dean W. Felsher, email:

Keywords: liver cancer; HCC; miR; MYC; lipid nanoparticle (LNP)

Received: June 19, 2017 Accepted: August 21, 2017 Published: November 09, 2017


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains a significant clinical challenge with few therapeutic options. Genomic amplification and/or overexpression of the MYC oncogene is a common molecular event in HCC, thus making it an attractive target for drug therapy. Unfortunately, currently there are no direct drug therapies against MYC. As an alternative strategy, microRNAs regulated by MYC may be downstream targets for therapeutic blockade. MiR-17 family is a microRNA family transcriptionally regulated by MYC and it is commonly overexpressed in human HCCs. In this study, we performed systemic delivery of a novel lipid nanoparticle (LNP) encapsulating an anti-miR-17 oligonucleotide in a conditional transgenic mouse model of MYC driven HCC. Treatment with anti-miR-17 in vivo, but not with a control anti-miRNA, resulted in significant de-repression of direct targets of miR-17, robust apoptosis, decreased proliferation and led to delayed tumorigenesis in MYC-driven HCCs. Global gene expression profiling revealed engagement of miR-17 target genes and inhibition of key transcriptional programs of MYC, including cell cycle progression and proliferation. Hence, anti-miR-17 is an effective therapy for MYC-driven HCC.

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