Evaluation of MiR-34 Family and DNA Methyltransferases 1, 3A, 3B Gene Expression Levels in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Following Treatment with Dendrosomal Nanocurcumin


Department of Genetics, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran E-mail: sadeghma@modares.ac.ir


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common primary malignancy of the liver making up more than 80 percent of cases. It is known to be the sixth most prevalent cancer and the third most frequent cause of cancer related death worldwide. Epigenetic regulation constitutes an important mechanism by which dietary components can selectively activate or inactivate target gene expression. The miR-34 family members including mir-34a, mir-34b and mir-34c are tumor suppressor micro RNAs, which are expressed in the majority of normal tissues. Several studies have indicated silencing of miR-34 expression via DNA methylation in multiple types of cancers. Bioactive nutrients like curcumin (Cur) have excellent anticarcinogenic activity and minimal toxic manifestations in biological systems. This compound has recently been determined to induce epigenetic changes. However, Cur is lipophilic and has a poor systemic bioavailability and poor absorption. Its bioavailability is increased through employing dendrosome nanoparticles. The aim of the current study was to investigate the effect of dendrosomal nanocurcumin (DNC) on expression of mir-34 family members in two HCC cell lines, HepG2 and Huh7. We performed the MTT assay to evaluate DNC and dendrosome effects on cell viability. The ability of DNC to alter expression of the mir-34 family and DNA methyltransferases (DNMT1, DNMT3A and 3B) was evaluated using semi-quantitative and quantitative PCR. We observed the entrance of DNC into HepG2 and Huh7 cells. Gene expression assays indicated that DNC treatment upregulated mir34a, mir34b and mir34c expression (P<0.05) as well as downregulated DNMT1, DNMT3A and DNMT3B expression (P<0.05) in both HepG2 and Huh7 cell lines. DNC also reduced viability of Huh7 and HepG2 cells through restoration of miR-34s expression. We showed that DNC could awaken the epigenetically silenced miR-34 family by downregulation of DNMTs. Our findings suggest that DNC has potential in epigenetic therapy of HCC.