Long non‑coding RNA maternally expressed gene 3 affects cell proliferation, apoptosis and migration by targeting the microRNA‑9‑5p/midkine axis and activating the phosphoinositide‑dependent kinase/AKT pathway in hepatocellular carcinoma
- Dezhi Wu
- Zheng Ma
- Deyu Ma
- Qiquan Li
Affiliations: School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Guizhou University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Guiyang, Guizhou 550002, P.R. China, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Cangzhou Central Hospital, Cangzhou, Hebei 061001, P.R. China, Department of Pharmacy, Affiliated Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital of Southwest Medical University, Luzhou, Sichuan 646000, P.R. China, GCP Center, Affiliated Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital of Southwest Medical University, Luzhou, Sichuan 646000, P.R. China
- Published online on: March 3, 2021 https://doi.org/10.3892/ol.2021.12606
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Long non‑coding RNA (lncRNA) maternally expressed gene 3 (MEG3) is a tumor suppressor in several cancers, such as glioma, prostate cancer and esophageal cancer. However, the role of MEG3 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and the related molecular mechanisms are not well understood. The present study aimed to determine the biological function of MEG3 in regulating HCC cell viability, apoptosis and migration. In addition, the interaction between MEG3, microRNA (miR)‑9‑5p and Midkine (MDK), and the activation of the phosphoinositide‑dependent kinase (PDK)/AKT pathway in HCC cell line MHCC‑97L were examined. Luciferase reporter assays, reverse transcription‑quantitative PCR and western blotting were used to determine the interaction between MEG3, miR‑9‑5p and MDK and the activation of the PDK/AKT pathway. Cell viability was determined by the CCK8 assay and the cell cycle analysis using flow cytometry analysis. Cell apoptosis was examined by flow cytometry analysis and caspase 3/9 activity. Wound healing assays and western blotting were used to investigate cell migration. The present study demonstrated that MEG3 suppressed HCC cell viability and migration, and induced cell apoptosis. In addition, it was also found that MEG3 targets the miR‑9‑5p/MDK axis and modulates the PDK/AKT pathway in HCC. In conclusion, the findings of the present study demonstrated that lncRNA MEG3 affects HCC cell viability, apoptosis and migration through its targeting of miR‑9‑5p/MDK and regulation of the PDK/AKT pathway. The MEG3/miR‑9‑5p/MDK axis may be a potential therapeutic target in HCC.