Cancer Management and Research (2020-09-01)

CircRNA CDR1as/miR-1287/Raf1 Axis Modulates Hepatocellular Carcinoma Progression Through MEK/ERK Pathway

  • Zhang B,
  • Li F,
  • Zhu Z,
  • Ding A,
  • Luo J

Journal volume & issue
Vol. Volume 12
pp. 8951 – 8964


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Bashan Zhang, Fei Li, Zinian Zhu, Aijiao Ding, Jintong Luo Department of Clinical Laboratory, Affiliated Dongguan People’s Hospital, Southern Medical University of Dongguan, Dongguan City, Guangdong Province, People’s Republic of ChinaCorrespondence: Bashan ZhangDepartment of Clinical Laboratory, Affiliated Dongguan People’s Hospital, Southern Medical University of Dongguan, Wanjiang District, Dongguan City, Guangdong Province 523059, People’s Republic of ChinaTel +86 769 28636657Email [email protected]: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a common lethal malignant tumor worldwide. Circular RNAs (circRNAs) have been reported to affect the development of human cancers, including HCC. In this project, we aim to clarify the functional effect of circular CDR1as (circ_CDR1as) on HCC progression.Methods: Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) or Western blot is implemented to detect the expression of circ_CDR1as, microRNA (miR)-1287 and Raf-1 proto-oncogene, serine/threonine kinase (Raf1). Cell proliferation is assessed via colony formation and 3-(4, 5)-dimethylthiazole-2-y1)-2, 5-biphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assays. Cell migration and invasion are measured by Transwell assay. The target relationship between miR-1287 and circ_CDR1as or Raf1 is validated through dual-luciferase reporter assay. The levels of epithelia–mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers and the MEK/ERK signal pathway-related proteins are examined by Western blot. Model in nude mice is constructed to determine the role of circ_CDR1as in vivo.Results: Expression of circ_CDR1as and Raf1 is elevated, while miR-1287 expression is decreased in HCC. Depletion of circ_CDR1as or Raf1 could inhibit proliferation and metastasis of HCC cells. Besides, circ_CDR1as regulates Raf1 expression by targeting miR-1287. MiR-1287 upregulation or Raf1 depletion could partially counterbalance circ_CDR1as depletion-mediated inhibitory effects on HCC cell behaviors. Moreover, circ_CDR1as depletion represses HCC progression through inactivating MEK/ERK pathway. In addition, circ_CDR1as depletion suppresses tumor growth in vivo via regulating miR-1287/Raf1 pathway.Conclusion: Circ_CDR1as depletion inhibits HCC cell proliferation and metastasis by miR-1287/Raf1 and MEK/ERK pathways, highlighting a promising molecular target for HCC treatment.Keywords: HCC, circ_CDR1as, Raf1, miR-1287, proliferation, metastasis, MEK/ERK pathway