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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 384121, 15 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/384121
Research Article

Synergistic Effect of MiR-146a Mimic and Cetuximab on Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells

1Department of Radiotherapy, First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, 6 Shuangyong Road, Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region 530021, China
2Department of Medical Oncology, First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, 6 Shuangyong Road, Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region 530021, China
3 Research Department, Affiliated Cancer Hospital, Guangxi Medical University, 71 Hedi Road, Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region 530021, China
4Department of Pathology, First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, 6 Shuangyong Road, Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region 530021, China

Received 1 November 2013; Revised 1 February 2014; Accepted 25 March 2014; Published 7 May 2014

Academic Editor: Wei Mike Liu

Copyright © 2014 Suning Huang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Previously, we found that the expression of microRNA-146a (miR-146a) was downregulated in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues compared to the adjacent noncancerous hepatic tissues. In the current study, we have explored the in vitro effect of miR-146a on the malignant phenotypes of HCC cells. MiR-146a mimic could suppress cell growth and increase cellular apoptosis in HCC cell lines HepG2, HepB3, and SNU449, as assessed by spectrophotometry, fluorimetry, and fluorescence microscopy, respectively. Furthermore, western blot showed that miR-146a mimic downregulated EGFR, ERK1/2, and stat5 signalings. These effects were less potent compared to that of a siRNA targeting EGFR, a known target gene of miR-146a. Moreover, miR-146a mimic could enhance the cell growth inhibition and apoptosis induction impact of various EGFR targeting agents. The most potent combination was miR-146a mimic with cetuximab, presenting a synergistic effect. In conclusion, miR-146a plays a vital role in the cell growth and apoptosis of HCC cells and inducing miR-146a level might be a critical targeted molecular therapy strategy for HCC.