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Ftx non coding RNA-derived miR-545 promotes cell proliferation by targeting RIG-I in hepatocellular carcinoma

Zhikui Liu, Changwei Dou, Bowen Yao, Meng Xu, Linglong Ding, Yufeng Wang, Yuli Jia, Qing Li, Hongyong Zhang, Kangsheng Tu, Tao Song and Qingguang Liu _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:25350-25365. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.8129

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Zhikui Liu1,*, Changwei Dou1,*, Bowen Yao1, Meng Xu1, Linglong Ding1, Yufeng Wang1, Yuli Jia1, Qing Li1, Hongyong Zhang1, Kangsheng Tu1, Tao Song1, Qingguang Liu

1Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, Shaanxi, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Qingguang Liu, email: [email protected]

Tao Song, email: [email protected]

Kangsheng Tu, email: [email protected]

Keywords: Ftx, miR-545, hepatocellular carcinoma, RIG-I, proliferation

Received: January 25, 2016   Accepted: March 02, 2016   Published: March 16, 2016


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the third cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Accumulating studies have demonstrated that aberrant expression of several lncRNAs was found to be involved in the hepatocarcinogenesis. In this study, a lncRNA Ftx was chosen to investigate its effects on HCC cells, and clarify the possible mechanism. We demonstrated that the lncRNA Ftx and Ftx-derived miR-545 were up-regulated in both HCC tissues and cells. MiR-545 was positively correlated with lncRNA Ftx expression. Notably, clinical association analysis revealed that the high expression of lncRNA Ftx and miR-545 was associated with poor prognostic features, and conferred a reduced 5-year overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) of HCC patients. We found that miR-545 was a pivotal mediator in Ftx-induced promotion of HCC cell growth. Subsequently, we identified RIG-I as a direct target of miR-545. The expression of RIG-I was downregulated in HCC tissues and was inversely correlated with miR-545 expression. Our data revealed that ectopic expression of RIG-I abrogated the effects of lncRNA Ftx or miR-545 on HCC cells. LncRNA Ftx/miR-545-mediated downregulation of RIG-I led to increased Akt phosphorylation in vitro and in vivo. Inhibition of Akt phosphorylation abolished the effects of lncRNA Ftx/miR-545 on HCC cells. In conclusion, our study demonstrates that the novel pathway lncRNA Ftx/miR-545/RIG-I promotes HCC development by activating PI3K/Akt signaling, and it may serve as a novel prognostic biomarker and therapeutic target for HCC.

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