Research Papers:

Downregulation of microRNA-100 enhances the ICMT-Rac1 signaling and promotes metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma cells

Hui-Chao Zhou, Jian-Hong Fang, Xu Luo, Lei Zhang, Jine Yang, Chong Zhang and Shi-Mei Zhuang _

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Oncotarget. 2014; 5:12177-12188. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.2601

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Hui-Chao Zhou1,*, Jian-Hong Fang2,*, Xu Luo2,*, Lei Zhang1, Jine Yang2, Chong Zhang2 and Shi-Mei Zhuang1,2

1 Key Laboratory of Liver Disease of Guangdong Province, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, P. R. China.

2 Key Laboratory of Gene Engineering of the Ministry of Education, State Key Laboratory of Biocontrol, School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, P. R. China

* These authors contributed equally to this work


Shi-Mei Zhuang, email:

Keywords: miR-100, non-coding RNA, Rac1, ICMT, hepatocellular carcinoma

Received: August 20, 2014 Accepted: October 18, 2014 Published: October 18, 2014


Metastasis is responsible for rapid recurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and poor survival of HCC patients. Here we showed that miR-100 downregulation in HCC tissues was significantly associated with venous invasion, advanced TNM stage, tumor nodule without complete capsule, poorer cell differentiation, and shorter recurrence-free survival. Both gain- and loss-of-function studies showed that miR-100 dramatically suppressed the ability of HCC cells to migrate and to invade through Matrigel in vitro. Analyses using mouse orthotopic xenograft model further revealed that xenografts of miR-100-stable-expressing HCC cells displayed a significant reduction in pulmonary metastasis, compared with control group. Subsequent investigations revealed that miR-100 directly inhibited the expression of isoprenylcysteine carboxyl methyltransferase (ICMT) and ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 1 (Rac1) by binding to their 3’-UTRs, and in turn suppressed lamellipodia formation and matrix metallopeptidase 2 (MMP2) activation. Furthermore, knockdown of ICMT and Rac1 phenocopied the anti-metastasis effect of miR-100, whereas overexpression of the constitutively active Rac1 (Q61L) antagonized the function of miR-100. Taken together, miR-100 represses metastasis of HCC cells by abrogating the ICMT-Rac1 signaling. Downregulation of miR-100 contributes to HCC metastasis and the restoration of miR-100 is a potential strategy for cancer therapy.

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