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Emerging evidence has shown that dysregulated expression of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) is implicated in liver hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the role and molecular mechanism of differentially expressed lncRNAs in HCC has not been fully explained. The expression profiles of lncRNAs in HCC samples were derived from microarrays analysis or downloaded from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), and their correlation with prognosis and clinical characteristics were further analyzed. Silencing of lncRNA ZFPM2-AS1 was conducted to assess the effect of ZFPM2-AS1 in vitro. The miRcode and Target Scan databases were used to determine the lncRNA-miRNA-mRNA interactions. The biological functions were demonstrated by luciferase reporter assay, western blotting, PCR and rescue experiments. The expression level of lncRNA ZFPM2-AS1 was significantly higher in HCC tissues than in adjacent normal tissues, and higher ZFPM2-AS1 was remarkably related to poor survival. Functionally, silencing of lncRNA ZFPM2-AS1 inhibited cell proliferation, migration, invasion and promoted cell apoptosis in vitro. Bioinformatics analysis based on the miRcode and TargetScan databases showed that lncRNA ZFPM2-AS1 regulated GDF10 expression by competitively binding to miR-139. miR-139 and downregulated GDF10 reversed cell phenotypes caused by lncRNA ZFPM2-AS1 by rescue analysis. ZFPM2-AS1, an upregulated lncRNA in HCC, was associated with malignant tumor phenotypes and worse patient survival. ZFPM2-AS1 regulated the progression of HCC by acting as a competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) to competitively bind to miR-139 and regulate GDF10 expression. Our study provides new insight into the posttranscriptional regulation mechanism of lncRNA ZFPM2-AS1 and suggests that ZFPM2-AS1/miR-139/GDF10 may act as a potential therapeutic target and prognostic biomarker for HCC.


Hui He, Yawei Wang, Peng Ye, Dehui Yi, Ying Cheng, Haibo Tang, Zhi Zhu, Xun Wang, Shi Jin. Long noncoding RNA ZFPM2-AS1 acts as a miRNA sponge and promotes cell invasion through regulation of miR-139/GDF10 in hepatocellular carcinoma. Journal of experimental & clinical cancer research : CR. 2020 Aug 14;39(1):159

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PMID: 32795316

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