J Cancer 2016; 7(5):608-617. doi:10.7150/jca.13822

Research Paper

Up-regulation of LncRNA SNHG20 Predicts Poor Prognosis in Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Dongyan Zhang1, Chuanhui Cao1, Li Liu2, Dehua Wu1✉

1. Department of Radiation Oncology, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, GuangDong Province, 510515, China.
2. Hepatology Unit and Department of Infectious Diseases, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, GuangDong Province, 510515, China.

Abstract

Recent studies indicated that long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) played important regulatory roles in carcinogenesis and cancer progression. However, the contribution of small nucleolar RNA host gene 20 (SNHG20) to cancer development remains largely unknown. The aim of the study is to investigate the expression of SNHG20 and its clinical significance in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Our results showed that the expression of SNHG20 was remarkably up-regulated in HCC tissues compared with adjacent non-tumor liver tissues from 49 fresh HCC samples (cohort 1) detected by quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR, P = 0.004). The results were confirmed in 144 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded HCC tissues (cohort 2) by in situ hybridization (ISH). Meanwhile, the expression of SNHG20 was associated with tumor size (P = 0.027 for cohort 1 and P = 0.046 for cohort 2) and clinical stage (P = 0.027 for cohort 1 and P = 0.028 for cohort 2). Importantly, patients with high expression of SNHG20 had a shorter overall survival (OS, P < 0.001) and disease-free survival (DFS, P < 0.001) than those with low expression of SNHG20. Univatiate and multivariate analysis showed that SNHG20 was a significant and independent prognostic predictor for OS of HCC patients (hazard ratio = 3.985, 95% CI = 1.981-8.017, P < 0.001). In addition, a total of 331 HCC patients' data from the Caner Genome Atlas project (TCGA) were used to validate our findings. Consistently, the results from TCGA HCC cohort demonstrated that SNHG20 were overexpressed in HCC tissues compared with non-tumor liver tissues (P < 0.001). Patients with higher expression levels of SNHG20 had poorer OS (P = 0.021) and DFS (P < 0.001). Functionally, knockdown of SNHG20 in SK-Hep-1 cells significantly inhibited cellular proliferation, migration, and invasion. In conclusion, SNHG20, up-regulated in patients with HCC, may serve as an independent prognostic predictor for HCC patients.

Keywords: Long Non-Coding RNA, SNHG20, Hepatocellular Carcinoma, prognosis.

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How to cite this article:
Zhang D, Cao C, Liu L, Wu D. Up-regulation of LncRNA SNHG20 Predicts Poor Prognosis in Hepatocellular Carcinoma. J Cancer 2016; 7(5):608-617. doi:10.7150/jca.13822. Available from http://www.jcancer.org/v07p0608.htm