MicroRNA-148a suppresses epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition by targeting ROCK1 in non-small cell lung cancer cells

Jipeng Li, Yulan Song, Yiping Wang, Jianping Luo, Wanjun Yu
Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry 2013, 380 (1-2): 277-82
Recent studies have implied that miRNAs act as crucial modulators for epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). We found that miR-148a is significantly downregulated in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) compared to adjacent non-cancerous lung tissues, and the downregulated miR-148a was significantly associated with lymph-node metastasis. Functional assays demonstrated that miR-148a inhibited EMT in NSCLC cells. Moreover, miR-148a decreased 3'-untranslated region luciferase activity of ROCK1 and ROCK1 protein expression. Knockdown of ROCK1 reversed EMT resembling that of miR-148a overexpression. Furthermore, ROCK1 was widely upregulated in NSCLC, and its mRNA levels were inversely correlated with miR-148a expression. These findings suggest that miR-148a acts as a novel EMT suppressor in NSCLC cells, at least in part by modulation of ROCK1.

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