Background. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play an essential role in mediating gene expression in both normal and malignant cells. However, little is known about specific miRNAs during the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) from well-differentiated to poorly differentiated cells. Methods. We performed miRNA array analysis of three different HCC cell lines: HepG2, HepJ5, and skHep-1. The expression patterns of miR-200 family members were confirmed by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). We overexpressed miR-200 family members by using a lentivirus system and selected for stably transduced cells using antibiotics. The migration ability of the cells was tested using the Transwell migration assay system. Results. Our miRNA array and real-time PCR results indicated a decrease in the expression of miR-200 family members in poorly differentiated skHep-1 cells compared with well-differentiated HepG2 cells. We overexpressed miR-200a and miR-200b in both HepJ5 and skHep-1 cells and found that the overexpression of the miR-200 family members did not influence proliferation, although migration was decreased in these cells. We found that overexpression of miR-200 family members led to an upregulation of E-cadherin expression in both HepJ5 and skHep-1 cells. Furthermore, we silenced E-cadherin expression by shRNA in miR200a-HepJ5 cells and found that the migratory ability of these cells was enhanced upon the decrease in E-cadherin expression. Conclusions. Members of the miR-200 family (miR-200a and miR-200b) play important roles in HCC migration by regulating E-cadherin expression.
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