Research Paper Volume 10, Issue 8 pp 1884—1901

Anillin is required for tumor growth and regulated by miR-15a/miR-16-1 in HBV-related hepatocellular carcinoma

Yi-Fan Lian1, *,, Yan-Lin Huang2, *,, Jia-Liang Wang1, , Mei-Hai Deng3, , Tian-Liang Xia4, , Mu-Sheng Zeng4, , Min-Shan Chen5, , Hong-Bo Wang1, , Yue-Hua Huang1,2, ,

  • 1 Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Liver Disease Research, the Third Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China
  • 2 Department of Infectious Diseases, the Third Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China
  • 3 Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, the Third Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China
  • 4 State Key Laboratory of Southern China, Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, Guangzhou, China
  • 5 Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, China
* Equal contribution

Received: May 31, 2018       Accepted: July 27, 2018       Published: August 9, 2018
How to Cite

Copyright: Lian et al. This is an open‐access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Anillin (ANLN) is an actin-binding protein essential for assembly of cleavage furrow during cytokinesis. Although reportedly overexpressed in various human cancers, its role in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is unclear. To address this issue, we confirmed that in 436 liver samples obtained from surgically removed HCC tissues, higher ANLN expression was detected in tumor tissues than in adjacent non-tumor tissues of HCC as measured by immunohistochemistry, quantitative real-time PCR and western blotting. Correlation and Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed that patients with higher ANLN expression were associated with worse clinical outcomes and a shorter survival time, respectively. Moreover, ANLN inhibition resulted in growth restraint, reduced colony formation, and a lower sphere number in suspension culture. Mechanistically, ANLN deficiency induced an increasing number of multinucleated cells along with the activation of apoptosis signaling and DNA damage checkpoints. Furthermore, HBV infection increased ANLN expression by inhibiting the expression of microRNA (miR)-15a and miR-16-1, both of which were identified as ANLN upstream repressors by targeting its 3’ untranslated region. Thus, we conclude that ANLN promotes tumor growth by ways of decreased apoptosis and DNA damage. Expression level of ANLN significantly influences the survival probability of HCC patients and may represent a promising prognostic biomarker.


ANLN: anillin; DAPI: 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole; HCC: hepatocellular carcinoma; IHC: immunohistochemistry; miR: microRNA; qPCR: quantitative PCR; RLU: relative luciferase activities; short hairpin RNA: shRNA; UTR: untranslated region.