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Terminal differentiation induced ncRNA (TINCR), a newly identified lncRNA, has been found to be associated with different human cancers including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, little is known regarding the pathological mechanisms of TINCR in HCC progression. In this study, we confirmed that TINCR expression was upregulated in HCC tumors and cell lines, and high TINCR expression was associated with larger tumor size, advanced tumor node metastasis stage, and poor prognosis. Functionally, knockdown of TINCR facilitated apoptosis and suppressed viability, colony formation and invasion in Huh7 and Hep3B cells. Mechanically, TINCR functioned as competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) to regulate DEAD-box helicase 5 (DDX5) expression through sponging miR-218-5p. Moreover, the miR-218-5p expression was downregulated and DDX5 expression was upregulated in HCC tumors. The silencing of miR-218-5p or ectopic expression of DDX5 abated the tumor-suppressive effect of TINCR knockdown in vitro. Furthermore, si-TINCR-induced inactivation of AKT signaling was rescued by suppression of miR-218-5p or overexpression of DDX5. Also, the silencing of TINCR resulted in tumor growth inhibition in vivo. In summary, knockdown of TINCR suppressed HCC progression presumably by inactivation of AKT signaling through targeting the miR-218-5p/DDX5 axis, suggesting a novel TINCR/miR-218-5p/DDX5 pathway and therapy target for HCC. © 2020 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Huibo Zhao, Zhantao Xie, Gaofeng Tang, Sidong Wei, Guoyong Chen. Knockdown of terminal differentiation induced ncRNA (TINCR) suppresses proliferation and invasion in hepatocellular carcinoma by targeting the miR-218-5p/DEAD-box helicase 5 (DDX5) axis. Journal of cellular physiology. 2020 Oct;235(10):6990-7002

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PMID: 31994189

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