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MiR200-upregulated Vasohibin 2 promotes the malignant transformation of tumors by inducing epithelial-mesenchymal transition in hepatocellular carcinoma



Published on:2016-11-28   Views:192

Abstract

BACKGROUND:Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) typically relies ontumor transformation and angiogenesis for its malignant behavior, includinggrowth and metastasis. Previously, we reported that Vasohibin2 (VASH2) ispreferentially expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tumor tissues andpromotes angiogenesis. Here, we further investigated the role of VASH2 in HCCtumor progression.

RESULTS:Bioinformatics analyses and luciferase reportergene assays confirmed the post-transcriptional regulation of VASH2 bymiR-200a/b/c. We then used HepG2 and Hep3B cells, two representative hepaticcancer cell lines, to examine the role of VASH2 in tumors. VASH2 knockdown inHepG2 cells inhibited epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), but VASH2overexpression in Hep3B cells promoted EMT. Western blot analyses showed thatVASH2 promoted EMT through the ZEB1/2 pathway.

CONCLUSION:VASH2 promoted invasion, reduced apoptosis andincreased the proportion of stem cells in vitro and in vivo. These resultsindicated that VASH2 expression in HCC cells promotes the malignanttransformation of tumors by inducing EMT.