MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been integrated into tumorigenic programs by regulating
genes at post-transcriptional level. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are novel targets for
miRNAs. Here, we reported that miR-203 down-regulation was closely linked to advanced
clinical features and poor overall survival (OS) of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. We also confirmed that miR-203 and oncogene
ADAM9 (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase 9)/oncogenic long non-coding RNA HULC (highly up-regulated in liver cancer) were
inversely expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissues or cell lines. More intriguingly, up-regulation of miR-203 diminished the
expression of ADAM9 and HULC in HCC cancer cells. Over-expression of miR-203 could markedly inhibit cell proliferation, invasion and
induce cell apoptosis. Furthermore, we identified that miR-203 modulated ADAM9 and HULC in a novel post-transcriptional regulatory
mechanism. Over-expression of HULC partly rescued the miR-203-mediated antitumor effects. These results suggested that miR-203
played tumor suppressive roles by downregulating ADAM9 and HULC and indicated its potential application in cancer treatment.
Keywords: ADAM9, hepatocellular carcinoma, HULC, long non-coding RNA, microRNA, miR-203.
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