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01.12.2018 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

Molecular Cancer 1/2018

Long non-coding RNA NEAT1-modulated abnormal lipolysis via ATGL drives hepatocellular carcinoma proliferation

Molecular Cancer > Ausgabe 1/2018
Xirui Liu, Yingjian Liang, Ruipeng Song, Guangchao Yang, Jihua Han, Yaliang Lan, Shangha Pan, Mingxi Zhu, Yao Liu, Yan Wang, Fanzheng Meng, Yifeng Cui, Jiabei Wang, Bo Zhang, Xuan Song, Zhaoyang Lu, Tongsen Zheng, Lianxin Liu
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12943-018-0838-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Abnormal metabolism, including abnormal lipid metabolism, is a hallmark of cancer cells. Some studies have demonstrated that the lipogenic pathway might promote the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the role of the lipolytic pathway in HCC has not been elucidated.


We compared levels of adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) in human HCC and healthy liver tissues by real time PCR, western blot and immunohistochemistry. We measured diacylglycerol(DAG) and free fatty acid (FFA) levels in HCC cells driven by the NEAT1-ATGL axis and in HCC tissues. We also assessed the effects of ATGL, DAG, FFA, and NEAT1 on HCC cells proliferation in vitro and in an orthotopic xenograft HCC mouse model. We also performed a luciferase reporter assay to investigate the interaction between NEAT1/ATGL and miR-124-3p.


We found that the lipolytic enzyme, ATGL is highly expressed in human HCC tissues and predicts poor prognosis. We also found that high levels of DAG and FFA are present in HCC tissues. Furthermore, the lncRNA-NEAT1 was found to modulate ATGL expression and disrupt lipolysis in HCC cells via ATGL. Notably, ATGL and its products, DAG and FFA, were shown to be responsible for NEAT1-mediated HCC cell growth. NEAT1 regulated ATGL expression by binding miR-124-3p. Additionally, NEAT1 knockdown attenuated HCC cell growth through miR-124-3p/ATGL/DAG+FFA/PPARα signaling.


Our results reveal that NEAT1-modulates abnormal lipolysis via ATGL to drive HCC proliferation.
Additional file 11: Figure S9. The transfection efficiencies of miR-124-3p were detected by qRT-PCR. A. The mRNA levels of miR-124-3p in Fig. 6e as detected by qRT-PCR. B The mRNA levels of miR-124-3p in Fig. 7d as detected by qRT-PCR. Data are expressed as mean ± SD of three independent experiments. Statistical significance was concluded at ***P < 0.001. (TIF 820 kb)
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