MicroRNA-98 acts as a tumor suppressor in hepatocellular carcinoma via targeting SALL4.Oncotarget. 2016 Nov 08; 7(45):74059-74073.O
MicroRNAs (miRs) are involved in the development and progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), but the regulatory mechanism of miR-98 in HCC still remains unclear. Here we found that miR-98 was significantly downregulated in HCC tissues compared to matched adjacent normal tissues (ANTs). Low miR-98 expression was associated with tumor size, metastasis, portal vein tumor embolus, and poor overall survival. Ectopic expression of miR-98 decreased the proliferation, migration, invasion and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of HCC cells. SALL4 was identified as a novel target of miR-98, and the protein expression of SALL4 was inhibited by miR-98 in HCC cells. Overexpression of SALL4 reversed the suppressive effects of miR-98 on the malignant phenotypes of HCC cells. Besides, SALL4, upregulated in HCC tissues compared to the matched ANTs, was inversely correlated to the miR-98 levels in HCC tissues. In addition, overexpression of miR-98 markedly suppressed the tumor growth as well as tumor-induced death in nude mice. In summary, miR-98 plays a suppressive role in the proliferation, migration, invasion and EMT of HCC cells, partly at least, via directly inhibition of SALL4. Therefore, the miR-98/SALL4 axis may become a promising therapeutic target for HCC.