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MicroRNA-194 modulates epithelial–mesenchymal transition in human colorectal cancer metastasis

Authors Cai H, Chen X, Tang Y, Deng Y

Received 19 October 2016

Accepted for publication 18 December 2016

Published 28 February 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 1269—1278


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Narasimha Reddy Parine

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Jianmin Xu

Hong-Ke Cai,1 Xi Chen,2 Yun-Hao Tang,1 Yong-Chuan Deng3

1Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Second Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, People’s Republic of China; 2Center of Molecular Medicine and Cancer Research, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Surgical Oncology, Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: MicroRNAs (miRNAs), as key regulators of gene expression, are closely related to tumor occurrence and progression. MiR-194 has been proved as a tumor regulatory factor in various cancers; however, the biological function and mechanism of action in colorectal cancer (CRC) have not been well explored. In the present study, we found that miR-194 expression is upregulated in CRC clinical specimens, while overexpression of miR-194 promotes cell migration and invasion in CRC cell lines. Besides, miR-194 significantly influenced the epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers by downregulating E-cadherin expression (P<0.01) and upregulating vimentin and MMP-2 expression (P<0.001, P<0.05). Cell migration is the cell movement related to actin cytoskeleton. In this study, we found miR-194 increased cell polarization in SW480 cells. Moreover, zymography assay showed that miR-194 significantly upregulated the gelatin-degrading activity of MMP-2 (P<0.01). Collectively, our findings suggest that miR-194 functions as a tumor promoter in CRC, which may provide new insights for the study of CRC development and metastasis.

Keywords: colorectal cancer, miR-194, epithelial mesenchymal transition, migration, invasion

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