Actin-binding protein Anillin plays a pivotal role in regulating cytokinesis during the cell cycle, and involves in tumorigenesis and progress . However, the exact regulation mechanism of Anillin in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains largely unknown . In this study, we examined and verified the anomalous high expression of Anillin in both HCC patients' specimens and HCC cell lines . High expression of Anillin is associated with dismal clinicopathologic features of HCC patients and poor prognosis . We conducted loss-of and gain-of function studies in HCC Hep3B cells . Anillin presented a significantly facilitating effect on cell proliferation in vitro and induced remarkable tumor growth in vivo . We found that the over-expression of Anillin was driven by a potential axis of miR-138/SOX4 . Transcription factor SOX4 presented a high expression profile positive correlated with Anillin, and ChIP assay validated the interaction between SOX4 and the specific sequence of the promoter region of Anillin gene . While, we verified miR-138 as an upstream regulator of SOX4, which is abrogated in HCC cells and exerts degenerating effect on SOX4 mRNA . In our conclusion, Anillin facilitates the cell proliferation and enhances tumor growth of HCC, and is modulated by miR-138/SOX4 axis which regulates the transcriptional activity of Anillin . Findings above demonstrate us a probable axis for HCC diagnosis and treatment .
SUMMARY OF THE MAIN POINT: Anillin facilitates the cell proliferation and enhances tumor growth in HCC . The transcriptional activity of Anillin is modulated by miR-138/SOX4 axis . Findings above demonstrate us a probable axis for HCC diagnosis and treatment.