Background Liver cancer is a frequent malignancy with poor prognosis. It has been reported that many lncRNAs could regulate the progression of liver cancer. To identify potential therapeutic targets for liver cancer, we conducted bioinformatics analysis of lncRNAs in tumor tissues and adjacent normal tissues. Methods The differential expression of lncRNAs between liver cancer tissues and adjacent normal tissues were examined by bioinformatics analysis. Cell proliferation was tested by CCK-8. Cell apoptosis in liver cancer was detected by flow cytometry. Gene and protein expression in liver cancer cells were measured by q-PCR and Western-blot, respectively. Xenograft tumor model was established to verify the function of LNC01234 on liver cancer in vivo. Results LNC01234 was found to be notably upregulated in liver cancer tissues. In addition, knockdown of LNC01234 significantly inhibited the proliferation, invasion and induced the apoptosis of liver cancer cells. Meanwhile, miR-513a-5p was a downstream target of LNC01234 and USP4 was a direct target of miR-513a-5p. Moreover, downregulation of LNC01234 inhibited the tumorigenesis of liver cancer via inactivating TGF-β signaling. Conclusion Downregulation of LNC01234 could inhibit the progression of liver cancer, which may serve as a potential novel target for treatment of liver cancer.
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