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MicroRNA-379-5p/YBX1 Axis Regulates Cellular EMT to Suppress Migration and Invasion of Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Cells

Authors Zhang F, Duan C, Yin S, Tian Y

Received 11 March 2020

Accepted for publication 9 May 2020

Published 9 June 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 4335—4346


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Kenan Onel

Fei Zhang,1 Chuanxin Duan,1 Shucheng Yin,2 Ying Tian1

1Department of Otolaryngology, Maternal and Child Health Care Hospital of Hubei Province and Women and Children’s Hospital of Hubei Province, Wuhan 430070, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan 430071, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Ying Tian Email

Background: Epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a major actor modulating the metastasis of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Increasing evidence indicates that microRNAs (miRs) are the important regulators of EMT program. However, the potential roles and underlying mechanisms of miR‑379-5p in regulating EMT of NPC cells remain unclear.
Methods: miR-379-5p expression levels in human NPC tissues and cell lines were detected via quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). Then, the correlations between miR-379-5p expression in NPC tissues and clinicopathologic features and patients’ prognosis were analyzed. The effect of miR-379-5p on the expression of EMT markers in NPC cells was evaluated by Western blot and qRT-PCR. NPC cells’ migration and invasion were evaluated in vitro by Transwell migration and invasion assays, respectively. The target of miR-379-5p was predicted with three publicly available databases and further validated with dual-luciferase reporter assay, qRT-PCR, and Western blot.
Results: The expression of miR-379-5p was significantly decreased in NPC tissues, and its low expression was significantly associated with multiple unfavorable clinicopathological factors and poor prognosis of NPC patients. Meanwhile, miR-379-5p was downregulated in NPC cell lines, and its exotic expression inhibited EMT to reduce the migration and invasion of NPC cells. Furthermore, Y-box binding protein 1 (YBX1) was identified and validated as a direct target of miR-379-5p, and restoring YBX1 expression could reverse the inhibitive effect of miR-379-5p on NPC cell EMT, migration and invasion.
Conclusion: Taken together, our findings indicate that miR-379-5p inhibits the EMT of NPC cells to reduce their migration and invasion abilities by post-transcriptionally suppressing YBX1 expression, providing a novel potential treatment target for NPC patients.

Keywords: miR-379-5p, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, YBX1, EMT, migration, invasion

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