Cell Death Dis. 2020 Sep 23;11(9):792. doi: 10.1038/s41419-020-02984-y.
Cytoplasmic polyadenylation element-binding protein 3 (CPEB3) is a sequence-specific RNA-binding protein. We had reported that CPEB3 is involved in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) progression. However, the underlying mechanisms of CPEB3 in HCC remain unclear. In this study, we firstly performed RNA immunoprecipitation to uncover the transcriptome-wide CPEB3-bound mRNAs (CPEB3 binder) in HCC. Bioinformatic analysis indicates that CPEB3 binders are closely related to cancer progression, especially HCC metastasis. Further studies confirmed that metadherin (MTDH) is a direct target of CPEB3. CPEB3 can suppress the translation of MTDH mRNA in vivo and in vitro. Besides, luciferase assay demonstrated that CPEB3 interacted with 3′-untranslated region of MTDH mRNA and inhibited its translation. Subsequently, CPEB3 inhibited the epithelial-mesenchymal transition and metastasis of HCC cells through post-transcriptional regulation of MTDH. In addition, cpeb3 knockout mice are more susceptible to carcinogen-induced hepatocarcinogenesis and subsequent lung metastasis. Our results also indicated that CPEB3 was a good prognosis marker, which is downregulated in HCC tissue. In conclusion, our results demonstrated that CPEB3 played an important role in HCC progression and targeting CPEB3-mediated mRNA translation might be a favorable therapeutic approach.