Human Cell

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HOXA11-AS promotes the migration and invasion of hepatocellular carcinoma cells by inhibiting miR-124 expression by binding to EZH2

  • Wen-long Zhang
  • Ya-nan Zhao
  • Zhang-zhen Shi
  • Gui-ying Gu
  • Dan Cong
  • Chen Wei
  • Yuan-song BaiEmail author
Research Article


The objective of this study was to examine the function of the long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) HOXA11-AS in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In total, samples from liver tumor and surrounding normal liver tissues were collected from 66 cases of HCC patients. Normal liver cell line HL-7702 and HCC cell lines HepG2, Hep3B, MHCC-97H and BEL7402 were used. Cells were transfected with different small interference RNAs or vectors. Then, transwell assay, qRT-PCR, CHIP, RIP and Western blot experiments were performed. We found that the HOXA11-AS expression level was higher in HCC samples than surrounding normal liver tissues. And the higher expression level of HOXA11-AS in HCC patients indicated a lower 5-year survival rate. Knockdown of HOXA11-AS in HepG2 and Hep3B cells caused impaired cell invasion and migration abilities. Otherwise, upregulation of HOXA11-AS in MHCC-97H and BEL7402 cells displayed higher invasion and migration capabilities. We also demonstrated that HOXA11-AS could inhibit miR-124 expression by binding to EZH2. Furthermore, overexpression of miR-124 or knockdown EZH2 expression could reverse the HOXA11-AS-induced migration and invasion effects in HCC cells. In summary, the high HOXA11-AS expression in HCC patients is associated with the poor outcome. HOXA11-AS could inhibit miR-124 expression by binding to EZH2 and thus promoted the migration and invasion of HCC cells.


HCC HOXA11-AS miR-124 EZH2 Invasion Migration 


Author contributions

All the authors participated in the design, data analysis and interpretation and review of the manuscript; YNZ, ZZS, GYG and DC conducted the experiments; CW analyzed the data; and WLZ and YSB prepared the manuscript.


This work was supported by grants from the Science and Technology Development Project of JiLin Province (20180101124JC), the Special Project for Health Research of JiLin Province (2018SCZ031), the Health Technology Innovation Project of JiLin Province (3D517ED43430), and the Norman Bethune Program of JiLin University (2012201).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship and publication of this article.

Informed consent

The participants provided informed consent, and the ethics committee of the hospital issued approval of the study and its protocols.


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Copyright information

© Japan Human Cell Society and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Hematology and OncologyChina-Japan Union Hospital of Jilin UniversityChangchunChina
  2. 2.Zhongyuan Union Clinical Laboratory Co., LtdBeijingChina

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