miR-7 inhibits the invasion and metastasis of gastric cancer cells by suppressing epidermal growth factor receptor expression

Juan Xie, Ming Chen, Jing Zhou, Ming-Shu Mo, Li-Hui Zhu, Yan-Ping Liu, Qing-Jun Gui, Li Zhang, Guo-Qing Li
Oncology Reports 2014, 31 (4): 1715-22
The present study profiled differentially expressed microRNAs (miRs) in gastric cancer cell lines and then investigated miR-7 expression in gastric cancer tissue specimens and the effects of miR-7 on the growth, invasion and metastasis of gastric cancer cells and the underlying molecular events. A microRNA microarray was used to profile differentially expressed miRNAs in human gastric cancer cell lines relative to a normal stomach mucosal epithelial cell line. The miRNA miR-7 was selected for further investigation, which included real-time reverse-transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis of miR-7 levels in different gastric cancer cell lines and tissues and distant non-tumor tissues from patient resections. Cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8), Transwell migration and invasion, and western blot assays were performed to assess tumor cell viability, invasion and gene expression, respectively, after miR-7 transfection. The miRNA microarray profiling revealed 14 upregulated miRNAs (including miR-21, miR-26b and miR-30b) and 19 downregulated miRNAs (including let-7i, miR-7 and miR-622) between gastric cancer and normal cell lines. The qRT-PCR analysis confirmed that reduced miR-7 expression occurred more frequently in poorly and moderately differentiated gastric cancer MGC-803, MKN-45 and SGC-7901 cell lines than in the well-differentiated gastric cancer NCI-N87 cell line, which was consistent with the results for gastric cancer tissues. Expression of miR-7 was downregulated in 86.9% (20/23) of the gastric cancer tissues compared with that in the distant non-tumor tissues. Restoration of miR-7 expression significantly inhibited tumor cell viability, invasiveness and migration when compared with the control cells. Luciferase assay confirmed the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) as a target gene of mR-7, and expression of miR-7 significantly suppressed EGFR expression at both the mRNA and protein levels. The data from the present study demonstrated that reduced miR-7 expression contributes to gastric cancer development and progression. Further study will investigate miR-7 in the regulation of EGFR expression in vitro and in vivo.

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