microRNA-200c modulates the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in human renal cell carcinoma metastasis

Xuegang Wang, Xuanyu Chen, Rong Wang, Pei Xiao, Zhenghong Xu, Li Chen, Weiwei Hang, Anming Ruan, Hongmei Yang, Xiaoping Zhang
Oncology Reports 2013, 30 (2): 643-50
microRNAs (miRNAs) play essential roles in several physiological and pathological processes, including tumor metastasis. Metastasis is associated with poor prognosis in renal carcinoma patients and almost 20-30% of patients present with distant metastasis at the time of diagnosis. The aim of the present study was to investigate the possible roles of miR-200c in regulating metastasis and to identify its target genes in renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Among the miRNAs downregulated in our tissue specimen microarray, miR-200c was downregulated significantly. Functional assays demonstrated that restoration of miR-200c significantly inhibited the migration and invasion of SN12-PM6 and 786-0 cells in vitro. Genome-wide gene expression analysis and TargetScan database studies showed that ZEB1, which has been shown to promote tumor invasion and migration through E-cadherin gene silencing, is a promising candidate target gene of miR‑200c. Overexpression of miR-200c in SN12-PM6 and 786-0 cells was concurrent with downregulation of ZEB1 and upregulation of E-cadherin mRNA and protein. In addition, miR-200c affected the protein expression of p-Akt and Akt. Thus, our study demonstrated that miR-200c decreases the metastatic ability of renal carcinoma cells by upregulating E-cadherin through ZEB1 and that modulating the expression of miR-200c could influence Akt protein levels. We therefore concluded that there is an Akt-miR-200c-E-cadherin axis in the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition process in RCC.

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