Indexed on: 29 Dec '18Published on: 29 Dec '18Published in: Oncology reports
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play critical roles in the growth, metastasis and therapeutic resistance of liver cancer. Accumulating evidence suggests that miR‑498 is aberrantly expressed in several human malignancies. However, the role and underlying mechanism of miR‑498 in liver cancer remain unclear. In the present study, we investigated the potential roles and clinical value of miR‑498 in liver cancer. We found that the miR‑498 expression level was significantly lower in liver cancer patient tissues than that in healthy control tissues. The expression of miR‑498 was also decreased in liver cancer cell lines compared to that noted in a normal human normal liver cell line. miR‑498 overexpression markedly inhibited liver cancer cell proliferation, migration and invasion. miR‑498 overexpression induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis while it suppressed epithelial‑mesenchymal transition (EMT) in liver cancer cells. Bioinformatic analysis and luciferase reporter assay further identified zinc finger E‑box binding homeobox 2 (ZEB2) as a novel target of miR‑498. Furthermore, ZEB2 knockdown recapitulated the inhibitory effects of miR‑498 overexpression in liver cancer cells. ZEB2 overexpression rescued the inhibition of liver cancer cell proliferation, migration, and invasion by miR‑498, indicating that ZEB2 acts as a downstream effector of miR‑498 in liver cancer cells. Thus, we demonstrated that miR‑498 suppresses the growth and metastasis of liver cancer cells, partly at least, by directly targeting ZEB2, suggesting that miR‑498 may serve as a potential biomarker for the diagnosis and therapy of liver cancer.