Int J Biol Sci 2013; 9(6):637-648. doi:10.7150/ijbs.6439

Research Paper

RMP Plays Distinct Roles in the Proliferation of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells and Normal Hepatic Cells

Sijun Yang1*, Hongmin Wang1*, Yunlan Guo 1, Shaomu Chen1, Mei-Yin Zhang2, Jian Shen1, Huijun Yu1, Jingcheng Miao1, Hui-Yun Wang 2,✉, Wenxiang Wei1,✉

1. Department of Cell Biology, School of Medicine, Soochow University, Suzhou, 215123 China;
2. State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, China 510060.
* These authors contributed equally to this work.

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Yang S, Wang H, Guo Y, Chen S, Zhang MY, Shen J, Yu H, Miao J, Wang HY, Wei W. RMP Plays Distinct Roles in the Proliferation of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells and Normal Hepatic Cells. Int J Biol Sci 2013; 9(6):637-648. doi:10.7150/ijbs.6439. Available from

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RMP has been shown to function in the transcription regulation through association with RNA polymerase (RNAP) II subunit RPB5. It also has been shown to be required for the proliferation of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells with an antiapoptotic property. In this article, we further demonstrate that RMP displays distinct features in HCC cells compared with normal hepatic cells. RMP expression is remarkably increased in various cancer cell lines including HCC cells when compared with normal cells. Depletion of RMP could inhibit the proliferation of HCC cells, but not the normal hepatic cells. RMP significantly prevented apoptosis of HCC cells in SMMC-7721 and HepG2, but had little effect on apoptosis in the normal hepatic cells. The mechanisms of RMP's distinct features rely on different responsive expressions of apoptosis factors induced by RMP in HCC and hepatic cells. Either overexpression or depletion of RMP significantly affected the expression of apoptosis factors in HCC cells. However, normal hepatic cells showed a tendency to resist RMP for the regulation of apoptosis. In the clinical samples, the increased expression of RMP in HCCs was also observed when compared with the matched non-tumor tissues from 30 HCC patients. The different expression levels of and distinct responses to RMP between HCC and hepatic cells suggest that RMP might serve as not only a biomarker for the diagnosis of HCC, but also a potential target for the HCC therapy.

Keywords: RMP, hepatocellular carcinoma cells