Research Papers:

miR-449a promotes liver cancer cell apoptosis by downregulation of Calpain 6 and POU2F1

Yonglei Liu, Yutong Wang, Xiangjun Sun, Chuanzhong Mei, Liying Wang, Zengxia Li and Xiliang Zha _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:13491-13501. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.4821

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Yonglei Liu1,2,3, Yutong Wang2, Xiangjun Sun4, Chuanzhong Mei1, Liying Wang1, Zengxia Li1, Xiliang Zha1

1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

2Department of Experimental Therapeutics, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA

3Research Center of Linyi People Hospital, Linyi, Shandong, China

4Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Linyi People Hospital, Linyi, Shandong, China

Correspondence to:

Xiliang Zha, e-mail: [email protected]

Yonglei Liu, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: liver cancer, proliferation, apoptosis, CAPN6, miR-449a

Received: January 02, 2015     Accepted: July 31, 2015     Published: August 12, 2015


Our previous study shows that Calpain 6 (CAPN6) expression is regulated by PI3K-Akt in liver cancer through POU2F1 and CAPN6 which promote cell proliferation and inhibit apoptosis of liver cancer cells. microRNAs (miRNAs) plays important roles in regulation of gene expression. However, whether miRNAs regulates CAPN6 expression and its cellular function is still unknown. This study aims to investigate how miRNAs regulate liver cancer apoptosis through POU2F1-CAPN6. It was verified that POU2F1 could promote cell proliferation and inhibit apoptosis through CAPN6. Using methods of bioinformatics, miR-449a was predicted as a potential regulator of both CAPN6 and POU2F1. It was verified that CAPN6 and POU2F1 were the target genes of miR-449a by luciferase assay. CAPN6 and POU2F1 protein and mRNA levels decreased in liver cancer cells with miR-449a overexpression using western blot and real time RT-PCR assays. miR-449a expression was lower in liver cancer tissues compared with their normal ones, so did the cells. Overexpression of miR-449a inhibited cell proliferation, induced G1 phase arrest and cell apoptosis in liver cancer. Further research demonstrated that miR-449a inhibited cancer cell proliferation and induced apoptosis via suppressing both POU2F1 and CAPN6. The study indicated that miR-449a functions as a tumor inhibitor in liver cancer by decreasing POU2F1 and CAPN6 expression in liver cancer.

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