microRNAs have been implicated in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) metastasis, which is predominant cause of high mortality in these patients. Although an increasing body of evidence indicates that miR-149 plays an important role in the growth and metastasis of multiple types of cancers, its role in the progression of HCC remains unknown. Here, we demonstrated that miR-149 was significantly down-regulated in HCC, which was correlated with distant metastasis and TNM stage with statistical significance. A survival analysis showed that decreased miR-149 expression was correlated with a poor prognosis of HCC as well. We found that over-expression of miR-149 suppressed migration and invasion of HCC cells in vitro. In addition, we identified PPM1F (protein phosphatase, Mg2+/Mn2+-dependent, 1F) as a direct target of miR-149 whose expression was negatively correlated with the expression of miR-149 in HCC tissues. The re-expression of PPM1F rescued the miR-149-mediated inhibition of cell migration and invasion. miR-149 regulated formation of stress fibers to inhibit migration, and re-expression of PPM1F reverted the miR-149-mediated loss of stress fibers. Moreover, we demonstrated that over-expression of miR-149 reduced pMLC2, a downstream effector of PPM1F, in MHCC-97H cells. In vivo studies confirm inhibition of HCC metastasis by miR-149. Taken together, our findings indicates that miR-149 is a potential prognostic biomarker of HCC and that the miR-149/PPM1F regulatory axis represents a novel therapeutic target for HCC treatment.
Keywords: hepatocellular carcinoma, miR-149, metastasis, PPM1F, microRNA
Gang L, Ya-Ling C, Bo T, et al. miR-149 represses metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma by targeting actin-regulatory proteins PPM1F[J].
Oncotarget, 2015, 6(35):37808-23.