Research Papers:

MiR-27a as a predictor for the activation of hepatic stellate cells and hepatitis B virus-induced liver cirrhosis

Hui Zhang, Xiu-Li Yan, Xin-Xin Guo, Miao-Juan Shi, Yi-Yu Lu, Qian-Mei Zhou, Qi-Long Chen, Yi-Yang Hu, Lie-Ming Xu, Shuang Huang and Shi-Bing Su _

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:1075-1090. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.23262

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Hui Zhang1, Xiu-Li Yan2, Xin-Xin Guo1, Miao-Juan Shi1, Yi-Yu Lu1, Qian-Mei Zhou1, Qi-Long Chen1, Yi-Yang Hu3, Lie-Ming Xu3, Shuang Huang1,4 and Shi-Bing Su1

1Research Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine Complexity System, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Pudong, Shanghai 201203, China

2Yueyang Hospital of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Hongkou, Shanghai 200437, China

3Shanghai Shuguang Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Pudong, Shanghai 201203, China

4Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL, USA

Correspondence to:

Shi-Bing Su, email: [email protected]

Keywords: MiR-27a; predictor; hepatic stellate cells; hepatitis B virus-induced liver cirrhosis

Received: April 28, 2017    Accepted: December 06, 2017    Published: December 15, 2017


Circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) can be employed as biomarkers to diagnose liver and other diseases. Noninvasive approaches are needed to complement and improve the current strategies for screening for biomarkers liver cirrhosis. We determined whether the serum levels of miRNAs can distinguish between chronic hepatitis B (CHB) and CHB-induced cirrhosis (HBC) and investigated the potential mechanisms involved. We found that serum miR-27a was significantly up-regulated in HBC, distinguishing HBC from CHB and healthy controls (Ctrl) (P<0.0001, the area of under the curve (AUC) =0.82 and 0.87, respectively). Specifically, when miR-27a was combined with miR-122, HBC was differentiated from CHB with an AUC=0.94. The serum miR-27a level in HBC patients with hepatic decompensation was significantly higher than that in patients with compensated HBC (P=0.0009). MiR-27a was also significantly up-regulated in the serum of rats with DMN-induced liver cirrhosis compared to that in saline-treated rats (P<0.0001). Furthermore, the down-regulation of miR-27a inhibited the proliferation and overexpression of miR-27a in activated hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) through the up-regulation of α-SMA and COL1A2 expression by targeting PPARγ, FOXO1, APC, P53 and RXRα. Our study demonstrated that circulating miR-27a can be used as a predictor for the activation of HSCs and the occurrence and development of HBC.

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