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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017, Article ID 2670658, 8 pages
Research Article

miR-200c Accelerates Hepatic Stellate Cell-Induced Liver Fibrosis via Targeting the FOG2/PI3K Pathway

1Department of Liver Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China
2Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Collaborative Innovation Center of Cancer Medicine, Guangzhou, China
3Institute of Cancer Stem Cell, Dalian Medical University, Dalian, China
4Department of Biliary and Pancreatic Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China
5School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Yunpeng Hua; moc.361@7240pyh and Quentin Liu; nc.ude.usys.liam@9quil

Received 5 February 2017; Accepted 21 March 2017; Published 13 June 2017

Academic Editor: Goutam Ghosh Choudhury

Copyright © 2017 Tengfei Ma 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.


Background. Although expression of miR-200s is aberrant in liver fibrosis, its role in liver fibrogenesis still remains unknown. Here, we investigated the role of miR-200c in the activation of human hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) and induction of liver fibrosis. Methods. We engineered human HSCs (LX2 cell line) to stably express miR-200c (LX2-200c) or empty vector control (LX2-nc). Results. miR-200c expression upregulated α-smooth muscle actin (SMA) and vimentin, enhanced HSCs growth and migration, increased expression of collagen type I (a main component of ECM) gene and secretion of epidermal growth factor (EGF), and upregulated the phosphorylation of Akt, a downstream effector of the PI3K pathway. As a target of miR-200s and inhibitor of PI3K pathway, FOG2 protein expression was significantly suppressed in LX2-200c cells. Moreover, LY294002, a highly selective inhibitor of PI3K, blocked phosphorylation of Akt and the effects of miR-200c. Conclusions. These data suggest that miR-200c activates HSCs in liver fibrosis possibly by downregulating FOG2 protein expression and upregulating PI3K/Akt signaling. Autocrine activation of EGF signaling may also be a mechanism of miR-200c-mediated HSCs activation. So miR-200c can be a potential marker for HSCs activation and liver fibrosis progression, as well as a potential target to attenuate liver fibrosis.