The study aimed to investigate the functional roles of micorRNA (miR)-367 in progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), as well as its regulation on PI3K/AKT pathway. The relative expression of miR-367 in HCC tissues and cell line was detected using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) method. Chi-square test was applied to analyze the relationship between miR-367 expression and clinical characterizes of HCC patients. The influences of miR-367 expression on cell proliferation, migration and invasion were analyzed using MTT and transwell assays respectively. Western blot assay was performed to for protein analysis. HCC tissues and cell lines exhibited significant up-regulation of miR-367. Moreover, the elevated expression of miR-367 was positively correlated with tumor size (P=0.005), metastasis (P=0.004) and TNM stage (P<0.001). Knockdown of miR-367 expression could inhibit cell proliferation, migration and invasion in vitro. While, enhanced miR-367 expression exhibited opposite effects. Besides, inhibition of miR-367 might enhance PTEN expression, reduce the levels of p-GSK3β and p-AKT. PTEN might be a target of miR-367 in HCC. The inhibition of PTEN could reverse the anti-tumor action caused by the knockdown of miR-367MiR-367 serves as an oncogene in HCC through activating the PI3K/AKT pathway by targeting PTEN.

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