Research Papers:

Upregulated in Hepatitis B virus-associated hepatocellular carcinoma cells, miR-331-3p promotes proliferation of hepatocellular carcinoma cells by targeting ING5

Yiyi Cao _, Juan Chen, Dan Wang, Hong Peng, Xixi Tan, Dongmei Xiong, Ailong Huang and Hua Tang

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:38093-38106. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.5642

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Yiyi Cao1,*, Juan Chen1,*, Dan Wang1, Hong Peng1, Xixi Tan1, Dongmei Xiong1, Ailong Huang1,2, Hua Tang1

1Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology on Infectious Diseases, Ministry of Education, Second Affiliated Hospital, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China

2Collaborative Innovation Center for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Hua Tang, e-mail: [email protected]

Ailong Huang, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: HCC, HBV, miRNA, miR-331-3p, ING5

Received: May 14, 2015     Accepted: October 02, 2015     Published: October 13, 2015


Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a major risk factor for development and progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). It has been reported that viral infection can interfere with cellular microRNA (miRNA) expression and participate in the pathogenesis of oncogenicity. Our miRNAs array data indicated that miR-331-3p expression in HCC cell lines increased, but the relationship between miR-331-3p expression and HBV activity is unclear. Here, we observed elevated expression of miR-331-3p in different HCC cell lines expressing HBV. HBV, especially HBx, promotes miR-331-3p expression by enhancing its promoter activity. Using a miRNA target prediction database miRBase, we identified ING5 to be a novel target gene of miR-331-3p. miR-331-3p could inhibit ING5 expression by directly targeting its 3′-untranslated region (3′-UTR). As predicted, HBV was confirmed to repress ING5 at both mRNA and protein levels by promoting miR-331-3p expression. Our result indicated that miR-331-3p expression promotes proliferation of SMMC7721 cells by inhibiting ING5. ING5 overexpression promoted cell apoptosis in HCC cell lines. We also found ING5 expression was decreased in tumor tissue of HCC patient with HBV infection compared to its expression in para-carcinoma tissues. Conclusion: These results showed that miR-331-3p is upregulated by HBV and promotes proliferation of HCC cells though repression of ING5 expression. These data provide new insights for understanding the mechanisms of HBV-related HCC pathogenesis.

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