Apoptosis resistance in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a significant factor in carcinogenesis. Therefore, understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in apoptosis resistance is crucial for developing anticancer therapies. Importantly, small non-coding microRNAs (miRNAs) have been reported as key biomarkers for detecting tumour onset and progression. In the present study, we demonstrate that miR-1180 is upregulated in HCC. Ectopic expression of miR-1180 has an anti-apoptotic effect in HCC, while miR-1180 inhibition increases cell apoptosis, both in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, our results show that miR-1180 directly targets key inhibitors of the nuclear factor (NF)-? B signaling pathway (i.e., OTUD7B and TNIP2) and the pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 associated death promoter (BAD) protein by post-transcriptional downregulation. Therefore, the anti-apoptotic function of miR-1180 in HCC may occur through NF-? B pathway activation via downregulation of its negative regulators. In conclusion, our study reveals the critical role of miR-1180 during apoptosis resistance in HCC.
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