SND1, a subunit of the miRNA regulatory complex RISC, has been implicated as an oncogene in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In this study, we show that hepatocyte-specific SND1 transgenic mice (Alb/SND1 mice) develop spontaneous HCC with partial penetrance and exhibit more highly aggressive HCC induced by chemical carcinogenesis. Livers from Alb/SND1 mice exhibited a relative increase in inflammatory markers and spheroid-generating tumor initiating cells (TIC). Mechanistic investigations defined roles for Akt and NF-kappaB signaling pathways in promoting TIC formation in Alb/SND1 mice. In human xenograft models of subcutaneous or orthotopic HCC, administration of the selective SND1 inhibitor 3', 5'-deoxythymidine bisphosphate (pdTp) inhibited tumor formation without effects on body weight or liver function. Our work establishes an oncogenic role for SND1 in promoting TIC formation, and highlights pdTp as a highly selective SND1 inhibitor as a candidate therapeutic lead to treat advanced HCC.
- Received January 30, 2017.
- Revision received April 11, 2017.
- Accepted April 14, 2017.
- Copyright ©2017, American Association for Cancer Research.