MiR-29c suppresses invasion and metastasis by targeting TIAM1 in nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Na Liu, Ling-Long Tang, Ying Sun, Rui-Xue Cui, Hui-Yun Wang, Bi-Jun Huang, Qing-Mei He, Wei Jiang, Jun Ma
Cancer Letters 2013 February 28, 329 (2): 181-8
Based on microarray analysis, we previously reported that miR-29c is significantly downregulated in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). However, little is known about the effect and molecular mechanisms of action of miR-29c deregulation during the development and progression of NPC. Quantitative RT-PCR demonstrated that miR-29c was significantly downregulated in NPC cell lines and clinical specimens. Wound healing, Transwell migration and lung metastasis assays demonstrated that ectopic expression of miR-29c inhibited NPC cell migration and invasion in vitro and suppressed the formation of lung metastases in vivo. T cell lymphoma invasion and metastasis 1 (TIAM1) was confirmed as a miR-29c target gene using luciferase reporter assays, quantitative RT-PCR and Western blotting. Ectopic expression of TIAM1 significantly promoted the migration and invasion of SUNE-1 cell line stably overexpressing miR-29c. The prognostic value of TIAM1 was analyzed in 217 NPC patients using immunohistochemistry. Strikingly, patients with high TIAM1 expression had poorer overall, disease-free and distant metastasis-free survival than patients with low TIAM1 expression. Furthermore, multivariate Cox regression analysis revealed that TIAM1 could serve as an independent prognostic factor in NPC. The newly identified miR-29c/TIAM1 pathway further elucidates the molecular mechanisms regulating invasion and metastasis in NPC, and may provide novel prognostic and treatment strategies for NPC patients.

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