Identification of ACTG2 functions as a promoter gene in hepatocellular carcinoma cells migration and tumor metastasis

Metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains a mostly incurable disease. The fact that the identity of the mechanisms that regulate metastasis in HCC is known hampers the development of anti-metastatic therapies. Currently, there is no effective treatment for HCC once it is progressed to metastatic stage. Therefore, further study to elucidate the molecular mechanism underlying the metastasis of HCC is urgently required for the improvement of HCC treatment. Here, we describes actin gamma smooth muscle 2 (ACTG2) over-express in HCC and demonstrates high-expression of ACTG2 as a promising therapeutic target in HCC metastasis. The use of shRNA to knock-down ACTG2 impaired cells migration and invasion in vitro. Moreover, silencing of ACTG2 causes almost complete inhibition of metastasis in vivo. In contrast, overexpression ACTG2 significantly enforces HCC cells migration and metastasis. Finally, ACTG2 boosts the metastatic potential of HCC cells in a Notch homolog 1 (Notch1) dependent manner. Collectively, our study reveals a critical role of ACTG2 in HCC tumor metastasis, and renders it a novel target for the treatment of HCC.

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