Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.426, No.2, 247-252, 2012
MiR-124 suppresses cell proliferation in hepatocellular carcinoma by targeting PIK3CA
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have crucial roles in the development and progression of human cancers, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Recent studies have shown that microRNA-124 (miR-124) was downregulated in HCC: however, the underlying mechanisms by which miR-124 suppresses tumorigenesis in HCC are largely unknown. In this study, we report that phosphoinositide 3-kinase catalytic subunit alpha (PIK3CA) is a novel target of miR-124 in HepG2 cells. Overexpression of miR-124 resulted in decreased expression of PIK3CA at both mRNA and protein levels. We found that miR-124 overexpression markedly suppressed cell proliferation by inducing G1-phase cell-cycle arrest in vitro. Consistent with the restoring miR-124 expression, PIK3CA knockdown suppressed cell proliferation, whereas overexpression of PIK3CA abolished the suppressive effect of miR-124. Mechanistic studies showed that miR-124-mediated reduction of PIK3CA resulted in suppression of PI3K/Akt pathway. The expressions of Akt and mTOR, key components of the PI3K/Akt pathway, were all downregulated. Moreover, we found over-expressed miR-124 effectively repressed tumor growth in xenograft animal experiments. Taken together, our results demonstrate that miR-124 functions as a growth-suppressive miRNA and plays an important role in inhibiting the tumorigenesis through targeting PIK3CA. (C) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.