Bioscience reports

miRNA-148b suppresses hepatic cancer stem cell by targeting neuropilin-1.

PMID 25997710


The existence of cancer stem cells (CSCs) is considered as a direct reason for the failure of clinic treatment in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Growing evidences have demonstrated that miRNAs play an important role in regulation of stem cell proliferation, differentiation and self-renewal and their aberrances cause the formation of CSCs and eventually result in carcinogenesis. We recently identified miRNA-148b as one of the miRNAs specifically down-regulated in side population (SP) cells of PLC/PRF/5 cell line. However, it remains elusive how miRNA-148b regulates CSC properties in HCC. In the present study, we observed that overexpression or knockdown of miR-148b through lentiviral transfection could affect the proportion of SP cells as well as CSC-related gene expression in HCC cell lines. In addition, miR-148b blocking could stimulate cell proliferation, enhance chemosensitivity, as well as increase cell metastasis and angiogenesis inxa0vitro. More importantly, miR-148b could significantly suppress tumorigenicity inxa0vivo. Further studies revealed that Neuropilin-1 (NRP1), a transmembrane co-receptor involved in tumour initiation, metastasis and angiogenesis, might be the direct target of miRNA-148b. Taking together, our findings define that miR-148b might play a critical role in maintenance of SP cells with CSC properties by targeting NRP1xa0in HCC. It is the potential to develop a new strategy specifically targeting hepatic CSCs (HCSCs) through restoration of miR-148b expression in future therapy.