Background and Aim: MicroRNAs are a class of small non-coding RNAs that negatively regulate the expression of their target genes. The aim of the present study was to explore the effects of microRNA on biological behaviors of HepG2 cells and further analyze its characteristics.
Methods: We detected different expression profiles of miRNAs in HepG2 and L02 cell lines by microRNA microarray. Northern blot, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, methylthiazolyl tetrazolium, fluorescence-activated cell sorting, scratch wound, transwell migration and Matrigel invasion assays and western blot were carried out to determine whether or not microRNA-224 (miR-224) can influence the biological behaviors of HepG2 cells.
Results: MiR-224 was significantly upregulated in HepG2 cells. Cell proliferation, migration and invasion, but not cell cycles, were altered after changing the expression of miR-224. Taking invasion and migration as a breakthrough, a close relationship between the expression of miR-224 and its proteins such as PAK4 and MMP9, which were involved in the invasion of tumor, was found.
Conclusions: Overexpression of miR-224 was involved in the malignant phenotype of HepG2 cells, and it may be an important factor in regulating the migration and invasion of HepG2 cells.