Recently, the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) has been demonstrated to contribute to normal and disease processes including cancer progression. To explore EMT-suppressive microRNAs (miRNAs), we established a cell-based reporter system using a stable clone derived from a pancreatic cancer cell line, Panc1, transfected with a reporter construct containing a promoter sequence of CDH1/E-cadherin in the 5′ upstream region of the ZsGreen1 reporter gene. Then, we performed function-based screening with 470 synthetic double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) mimicking human mature miRNAs using the system and identified miR-655 as a novel EMT-suppressive miRNA. Overexpression of miR-655 not only induced the upregulation of E-cadherin and downregulation of typical EMT-inducers but also suppressed migration and invasion of mesenchymal-like cancer cells accompanied by a morphological shift toward the epithelial phenotype. In addition, we found a significant correlation between miR-655 expression and a better prognosis in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Moreover, ZEB1 and TGFBR2, which are essential components of the TGF-b signaling pathway, were identified as direct targets of miR-655, suggesting that the activation of the TGF-b-ZEB1-E-cadherin axis by aberrant downregulation of miR-655 may accelerate cancer progression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)