MicroRNAs involved in neoplastic transformation of liver cancer stem cells
- Equal contributors
1 Hepato-Biliary Surgery Department, Xijing Hospital, the Forth Military Medical University, Western Changle Road, Xi'an, 710032, China
2 Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Chinese People’s Liberation Army General Hospital, Fuxing Road, Peking, 100853, China
Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 2010, 29:169 doi:10.1186/1756-9966-29-169Published: 23 December 2010
The existence of cancer stem cells in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has been verified by characterizing side population (SP) cells based on efflux of Hoechst 33342 dye from stem cells. Recent advances in microRNA (miRNA) biology have revealed that miRNAs play an important role in embryonic development and tumorigenesis. However, it is still unclear which miRNAs participate in the neoplastic transformation of liver cancer stem cells (LCSCs) during hepatocarcinogenesis.
To identify the unique set of miRNAs differentially regulated in LCSCs, we applied SP sorting to primary cultures of F344 rat HCC cancer cells treated with diethylnitrosamine (DEN) and normal syngenic fetal liver cells, and the stem-like characteristics of SP cells were verified through detecting expression of CD90.1, AFP and CK-7. Global miRNA expression profiles of two groups of SP cells were screened through microarray platform.
A total of 68 miRNAs, including miR-10b, miR-21, miR-470*, miR-34c-3p, and let-7i*, were identified as overexpressed in SP of HCC cells compared to fetal liver cells. Ten miRNAs were underexpressed, including miR-200a* and miR-148b*. These miRNAs were validated using stem-loop real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).
Our results suggest that LCSCs may have a distinct miRNA expression fingerprint during hepatocarcinogenesis. Dissecting these relationships will provide a new understanding of the function of miRNA in the process of neoplastic transformation of LCSCs.