We identified that microRNA expression changed dynamically during liver development and found that miR-500 is an oncofetal miRNA in liver cancer. miR-500 was abundantly expressed in several human liver cancer cell lines and 45% of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissue. Most importantly, an increased amount of miR-500 was found in the sera of the HCC patients. In fact, miR-500 levels in sera of the HCC patients returned to normal after the surgical treatment in three HCC patients. Our findings reveal that diverse changes of miRNAs occur during liver development and, one of these, miR-500 is an oncofetal miRNA relevant to the diagnosis of human HCC.
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