Hypoxia-induced lncRNA EIF3J-AS1 accelerates hepatocellular carcinoma progression via targeting miR-122-5p/CTNND2 axis.

Affiliation

Department of Geriatric Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University, 277 Yanta West Road, Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, 710061, China. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) exert crucial roles in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) progression. LncRNA EIF3J-AS1 is recently reported to be highly expressed in HCC and correlates with recurrence-free survival. However, the biological function of EIF3J-AS1 and its underlying molecular mechanism are unexplored yet. In the current study, we demonstrated that EIF3J-AS1 expression was obviously upregulated in HCC tissues compared to adjacent noncancerous tissues. Moreover, the elevated levels of EIF3J-AS1 was detected in four HCC cell lines (HepG2, SMMC-7721, MHCC97H, HCCLM3) compared with the normal hepatic cell line LO2. Notably, the expression of EIF3J-AS1 was correlated with prognostic features including tumor size, vascular invasion and tumor stage. TCGA-LIHC data indicated that the upregulated expression of EIF3J-AS1 predicted poor prognosis of HCC. EIF3J-AS1 knockdown remarkably suppressed the proliferation, migration and invasion of HCC cells. Mechanistically, EIF3J-AS1 inversely regulated miR-122-5p expression via acting as a competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) in HCC cells. Furthermore, catenin delta 2 (CTNND2) was recognized as a novel target of miR-122-5p. CTNND2 restoration partially reversed EIF3J-AS1 knockdown-induced inhibitory effects on HCC cell proliferation, migration and invasion. Importantly, we found that hypoxia induced EIF3J-AS1 and CTNND2 expression, and led to miR-122-5p downregulation in HCC cells. EIF3J-AS1 knockdown partially abolished hypoxia-induced HCC cell proliferation and mobility. In conclusion, our results provide a new insight into the molecular pathogenesis of HCC, and EIF3J-AS1 may be a potential therapeutic target for HCC.

Keywords

CTNND2,EIF3J-AS1,Hepatocellular carcinoma,Tumor progression,miR-122–5p,

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