Theranostics 2019; 9(3):900-919. doi:10.7150/thno.29515

Research Paper

CircHMGCS1 Promotes Hepatoblastoma Cell Proliferation by Regulating the IGF Signaling Pathway and Glutaminolysis

Ni Zhen1,3*, Song Gu2*, Ji Ma3*, Jiabei Zhu3, Minzhi Yin4, Min Xu2, Jing Wang2, Nan Huang1, Zhongqi Cui1, Zhixuan Bian3, Fenyong Sun1✉, Qiuhui Pan3✉

1. Department of Clinical Laboratory Medicine, Shanghai Tenth People's Hospital of Tongji University, Shanghai, 200072, China.
2. Department of Surgery, Shanghai Children's Medical Center, School of medicine, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, 200127, China.
3. Department of Clinical Laboratory Medicine, Shanghai Children's Medical Center, School of medicine, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, 200127, China.
4. Department of Pathology, Shanghai Children's Medical Center, School of medicine, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, 200127, China.
*The first three authors should be regarded as joint First Authors.

Abstract

Circular RNAs (circRNAs), a novel class of endogenous RNAs, have been recently shown to participate in cellular development and several pathophysiological processes. The identification of dysregulated circRNAs and their function in cancer have attracted considerable attention. Nevertheless, the expression profile and role of circRNAs in human hepatoblastoma (HB) remain to be studied. In this report, we analyzed the expression prolife of circRNAs in HB tissues and identified circHMGCS1 (3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA synthase 1; hsa_circ_0072391) as a remarkably upregulated circRNA.

Methods: The expression prolife of circRNAs in HB tissues were investigated through circRNA sequencing analyses. ISH and qRT-PCR assays were performed to measure the expression level of circHMGCS1. The effect of knocking down circHMGCS1 in HB cells in vitro and in vivo were evaluated by colony formation assay, flow cytometry, xenograft tumors assay and untargeted metabolomics assay. MRE analysis and dual luciferase assay were performed to explore the underlying molecular mechanisms.

Results: HB patients with high circHMGCS1 expression have shorted overall survival. Knockdown of circHMGCS1 inhibits HB cells proliferation and induces apoptosis. CircHMGCS1 regulates IGF2 and IGF1R expression via sponging miR-503-5p, and affects the downstream PI3K-Akt signaling pathway to regulate HB cell proliferation and glutaminolysis.

Conclusions: The circHMGCS1/miR-503-5p/IGF-PI3K-Akt axis regulates the proliferation, apoptosis and glutaminolysis of HB cells, implying that circHMGCS1 is a promising therapeutic target and prognostic marker for HB patients.

Keywords: hepatoblastoma, circHMGCS1, IGF2, GLS, competing endogenous RNAs

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How to cite this article:
Zhen N, Gu S, Ma J, Zhu J, Yin M, Xu M, Wang J, Huang N, Cui Z, Bian Z, Sun F, Pan Q. CircHMGCS1 Promotes Hepatoblastoma Cell Proliferation by Regulating the IGF Signaling Pathway and Glutaminolysis. Theranostics 2019; 9(3):900-919. doi:10.7150/thno.29515. Available from http://www.thno.org/v09p0900.htm