Research Papers:

MiR-200b/200c/429 subfamily negatively regulates Rho/ROCK signaling pathway to suppress hepatocellular carcinoma metastasis

Chun-Ming Wong _, Lai Wei, Sandy Leung-Kuen Au, Dorothy Ngo-Yin Fan, Yuan Zhou, Felice Ho-Ching Tsang, Cheuk-Ting Law, Joyce Man-Fong Lee, Xianghuo He, Jue Shi, Carmen Chak-Lui Wong and Irene Oi-Lin Ng

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:13658-13670. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.3700

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Chun-Ming Wong1, Lai Wei1, Sandy Leung-Kuen Au1, Dorothy Ngo-Yin Fan1, Yuan Zhou2, Felice Ho-Ching Tsang 1, Cheuk-Ting Law 1, Joyce Man-Fong Lee1, Xianghuo He3, Jue Shi2, Carmen Chak-Lui Wongand Irene Oi-Lin Ng1

1 Department of Pathology and State Key Laboratory for Liver Research, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

2 Department of Physics and Department of Biology, Centre for Quantitative Systems Biology, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, China

3 State Key Laboratory of Oncogenes and Related Genes, Shanghai Cancer Institute, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China

Correspondence to:

Chun-Ming Wong, email:

Irene Oi-Lin Ng, email:

Keywords: hepatocellular carcinoma, miR-200 family, cytoskeletal reorganization, Rho/ROCK signaling pathway, cancer metastasis

Received: January 16, 2015 Accepted: March 02, 2015 Published: March 30, 2015


MiR-200 family is an important regulator of epithelial-mesenchymal transition and has been implicated in human carcinogenesis. However, their expression and functions in human cancers remain controversial. In the work presented here, we showed that miR-200 family members were frequently down-regulated in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Although all five members of miR-200 family inhibited ZEB1/2 expression in HCC cell lines, we showed that overexpression only of the miR-200b/200c/429 subfamily, but not the miR-200a/141 subfamily, resulted in impeded HCC cell migration. Further investigations led to the identification of RhoA and ROCK2 as specific down-stream targets of the miR-200b/200c/429 subfamily. We demonstrated that the miR-200b/200c/429 subfamily inhibited HCC cell migration through modulating Rho/ROCK mediated cell cytoskeletal reorganization and cell-substratum adhesion. Re-expression of miR-200b significantly suppressed lung metastasis of HCC cells in an orthotopic liver implantation model in vivo. In conclusion, our findings identified the miR-200b/200c/429 subfamily as metastasis suppressor microRNAs in human HCC and highlighted the functional discrepancy among miR-200 family members.

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