Yonsei Med J.  2019 Aug;60(8):727-734. 10.3349/ymj.2019.60.8.727.

Long Noncoding RNA MALAT1 Regulates Hepatocellular Carcinoma Growth Under Hypoxia via Sponging MicroRNA-200a

  • 1Infection Department, The First Hospital of Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China.
  • 2Department of Ultrasound, The First Hospital of Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China. ldyyzhao@163.com


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a common cancer worldwide. Metastasis-associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1 (MALAT1), a long noncoding RNA (lncRNA), has been reported to be aberrantly expressed in hypoxic cancer cells. MALAT1 plays a significant role in many malignancies, including HCC. The aim of this study was to explore the role of MALAT1 in hypoxic HCC cells and its underlying regulatory mechanism.
Quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) assay was performed to detect the mRNA levels of MALAT1 and microRNA-200a (miR-200a) in HCC cells. Cell invasion and migration ability were evaluated by Transwell assay. Starbase v2.0 and luciferase reporter assay were employed to identify the association between MALAT1 and miR-200a. Cell proliferation and apoptosis were measured by MTT assay and flow cytometry, respectively.
MALAT1 levels were significantly upregulated in HCC cells under hypoxia. Hypoxia promoted proliferation, migration, and invasion, and blocked apoptosis in Hep3B cells, which were weakened by knockdown of MALAT1. Starbase v2.0 showed that MALAT1 and miR-200a have a complementarity region, and luciferase reporter assay verified that MALAT1 interacted with miR-200a in Hep3B cells. Moreover, MALAT1 negatively regulated the expression of miR-200a. miR-200a levels were dramatically downregulated in HCC cells under hypoxia. Upregulation of miR-200a inhibited proliferation, migration, and invasion, and induced apoptosis in Hep3B cells under hypoxia. Interestingly, downregulation of miR-200a partially reversed the tumor-suppressive effect of knockdown of MALAT1 on Hep3B cells in hypoxic condition.
LncRNA MALAT1 was involved in proliferation, migration, invasion, and apoptosis by interacting with miR-200a in hypoxic Hep3B cells, revealing a new mechanism of MALAT1 involved in hypoxic HCC progression.


MALAT1; miR-200a; HCC; proliferation; hypoxic
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