We investigated the role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the pathogenesis of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). A genome-wide miRNA microarray was used to identify differentially expressed miRNAs in HCCs arisen on cirrhotic livers. Thirty-five miRNAs were identified. Several of these miRNAs were previously found deregulated in other human cancers, such as members of the let-7 family, mir-221, and mir-145. In addition, the hepato-specific miR-122a was found down-regulated in ∼70% of HCCs and in all HCC-derived cell lines. Microarray data for let-7a, mir-221, and mir-122a were validated by Northern blot and real-time PCR analysis. Understanding the contribution of deregulated miRNAs to cancer requires the identification of gene targets. Here, we show that miR-122a can modulate cyclin G1 expression in HCC-derived cell lines and an inverse correlation between miR-122a and cyclin G1 expression exists in primary liver carcinomas. These results indicate that cyclin G1 is a target of miR-122a and expand our knowledge of the molecular alterations involved in HCC pathogenesis and of the role of miRNAs in human cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research