Research Papers:

12 overexpressed in hepatocellular carcinoma reduces microRNA-122 expression via HNF4α inactivation, which causes c-Met induction

Yoon Mee Yang, Chan Gyu Lee, Ja Hyun Koo, Tae Kim Kim, Jung Min Lee, Jihyun An, Kang Mo Kim and Sang Geon Kim _

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:19055-19069. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.3957

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Yoon Mee Yang1, Chan Gyu Lee1, Ja Hyun Koo1, Tae Hyun Kim1, Jung Min Lee1, Jihyun An2, Kang Mo Kim2 and Sang Geon Kim1

1 College of Pharmacy and Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea

2 Department of Internal Medicine, Asan Liver Center, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

Correspondence to:

Sang Geon Kim, email:

Keywords: liver cancer; non-coding RNA; G protein; c-Met

Received: January 20, 2015 Accepted: April 08, 2015 Published: April 29, 2015


MicroRNA-122 (miR-122) is implicated as a regulator of physiological and pathophysiological processes in the liver. Overexpression of Gα12 is associated with overall survival in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Array-based miRNA profiling was performed on Huh7 stably transfected with activated Gα12 to find miRNAs regulated by the Gα12 pathway; among them, miR-122 was most greatly repressed. miR-122 directly inhibits c-Met expression, playing a role in HCC progression. Gα12 destabilized HNF4α by accelerating ubiquitination, impeding constitutive expression of miR-122. miR-122 mimic transfection diminished the ability of Gα12 to increase c-Met and to activate ERK, STAT3, and Akt/mTOR, suppressing cell proliferation with augmented apoptosis. Consistently, miR-122 transfection prohibited tumor cell colony formation and endothelial tube formation. In a xenograft model, Gα12 knockdown attenuated c-Met expression by restoring HNF4α levels, and elicited tumor cell apoptosis but diminished Ki67 intensities. In human HCC samples, Gα12 levels correlated to c-Met and were inversely associated with miR-122. Both miR-122 and c-Met expression significantly changed in tumor node metastasis (TNM) stage II/III tumors. Moreover, changes in Gα12 and miR-122 levels discriminated recurrence-free and overall survival rates of HCC patients. Collectively, Gα12 overexpression in HCC inhibits MIR122 transactivation by inactivating HNF4α, which causes c-Met induction, contributing to cancer aggressiveness.

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