Background To understand the involvement of micro-RNA (miRNA) in the development and progression of oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), miRNA profiles were compared between tumour and corresponding non-tumour tissues.
Methods miRCURY LNA array was used to generate miRNA expressing profile. Real-time quantitative PCR was applied to detectthe expression of miR-375 in ESCC samples and its correlation with insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R). Methylation-specific PCR was used to study the methylation status in the promoter region of miR-375. The tumour-suppressive effect of miR-375 was determined by both in-vitro and in-vivo assays.
Results The downregulation of miR-375 was frequently detected in primary ESCC, which was significantly correlated with advanced stage (p=0.003), distant metastasis (p<0.0001), poor overall survival (p=0.048) and disease-free survival (p=0.0006). Promoter methylation of miR-375 was detected in 26 of 45 (57.8%) ESCC specimens. Functional assays demonstrated that miR-375 could inhibit clonogenicity, cell motility, cell proliferation, tumour formation and metastasis in mice. Further study showed that miR-375 could interact with the 3′-untranslated region of IGF1R and downregulate its expression. In clinical specimens, the expression of IGF1R was also negatively correlated with miR-375 expression (p=0.008).
Conclusions This study demonstrates that miR-375 has a strong tumour-suppressive effect through inhibiting the expression of IGF1R. The downregulation of miR-375, which is mainly caused by promoter methylation, is one of the molecular mechanisms involved in the development and progression of ESCC.
- Insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor
- oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma
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