Biliary atresia (BA) is the most common cause of chronic cholestasis in children. The long non‑coding RNA (lncRNA) Annexin A2 pseudogene 3 (ANXA2P3) and Annexin A2 (ANXA2) have been suggested to serve pivotal roles in BA; however, the clinical significance and biological roles of ANXA2P3 and ANXA2 in BA remain to be elucidated. The present study aimed to elucidate the function of ANAX2P3 and ANXA2 in BA‑induced liver injury using a human liver cell line and liver tissues from patients with BA. Reverse transcription‑quantitative polymerase chain reaction, western blotting and immunohistochemistry were conducted to determine the expression levels of ANXA2 and ANXA2P3 in liver tissues from patients with BA. Classification of fibrosis was analyzed by Masson staining. The functional roles of ANXA2 and ANXA2P3 in liver cells were determined by Cell Counting kit‑8 assay, and flow cytometric and cell cycle analyses. Activation of the ANXA2/ANXA2P3 signaling pathway in liver cells was evaluated by western blot analysis. According to the present results, the expression levels of ANXA2 and ANXA2P3 were significantly increased in liver tissues from patients with BA. In addition, knocking down the expression of ANXA2P3 and ANXA2 may result in reduced liver cell proliferation, cell cycle arrest in G1 phase and increased apoptosis of liver cells in vitro. Furthermore, in cells in which ANXA2 and ANXA2P3 were overexpressed, cell apoptosis was reduced and cell cycle arrest in G2 phase. Taken together, these results indicated that ANXA2P3 and ANXA2 may have protective effects against liver injury progression and may be considered biomarkers in patients with BA.
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