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Cancer cell hyperproliferation and metastasis are major causes of cancer-associated mortality. Although the use of anaesthetics and analgesics may affect cancer cell metastasis, the underlying molecular mechanism remains unclear. This study aimed to explore the mechanisms of action of remifentanil on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) progression. Cell viability was measured by the 3-(4, 5-dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2, 5-diphenyl-2-h-tetrazolium bromide assay. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting were performed to assess the expression levels of long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) neighbour of BRCA1 gene 2 (NBR2), microRNA (miR)-650 and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-3 (TIMP3) in HCC cells. Wound healing and transwell assays were employed to evaluate the migration and invasion of HCC cells respectively. The target relationships between miR-650 and NBR2/TIMP3 were confirmed by dual luciferase reporter assay. Remifentanil reduced the viability of HCC cells in a dose-dependent manner. Remifentanil treatment significantly increased the expression of lncRNA NBR2 and TIMP3, and repressed miR-650 expression in HCC cells. Decreased lncRNA NBR2 or increased miR-650 promoted the proliferation, migration and invasion of remifentanil-treated HCC cells. LncRNA NBR2 targeted miR-650, and miR-650 further targeted TIMP3. Moreover, miR-650 down-regulation or TIMP3 up-regulation reversed the effects of lncRNA NBR2 knockdown that caused an enhancement of cell viability, migration and invasiveness in remifentanil-treated HCC cells. Thus remifentanil reduces the proliferation, migration and invasion of HCC cells via the lncRNA NBR2/miR-650/TIMP3 axis in vitro. © 2022 Company of the International Journal of Experimental Pathology (CIJEP).


Wei Liang, Jinyuan Ke. Remifentanil reduces the proliferation, migration and invasion of HCC cells via lncRNA NBR2/miR-650/TIMP3 axis. International journal of experimental pathology. 2022 Apr;103(2):44-53

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PMID: 35156240

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