Deregulation of microRNAs (miRNAs) is a typical feature of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the in vivo relevance of miRNAs along hepatocarcinogenesis remains largely unknown. Here, we show that liver tumors induced in mice by c-Myc overexpression or AKT/Ras co-expression exhibit distinct miRNA expression profiles. Among the downregulated miRNAs, eight (miR-101, miR-107, miR-122, miR-29, miR-365, miR-375, miR-378, and miR-802) were selected and their tumor suppressor activity was determined by overexpressing each of them together with c-Myc or AKT/Ras oncogenes in mouse livers via hydrodynamic transfection. The tumor suppressor activity of these microRNAs was extremely heterogeneous in c-Myc and AKT/Ras mice: while miR-378 had no tumor suppressor activity, miR-107, mir-122, miR-29, miR-365 and miR-802 exhibited weak to moderate tumor suppressor potential. Noticeably, miR-375 showed limited antineoplastic activity against c-Myc driven tumorigenesis, whereas it strongly inhibited AKT/Ras induced hepatocarcinogenesis. Furthermore, miR-101 significantly suppressed both c-Myc and AKT/Ras liver tumor development. Altogether, the present data demonstrate that different oncogenes induce distinct miRNA patterns, whose modulation differently affects hepatocarcinogenesis depending on the driving oncogenes. Finally, our findings support a strong tumor suppressor activity of miR-101 in liver cancer models regardless of the driver oncogenes involved, thus representing a promising therapeutic target in human HCC.
- mouse liver cancer