Open Access

MicroRNA‑124 acts as a tumor‑suppressive miRNA by inhibiting the expression of Snail2 in osteosarcoma

  • Authors:
    • Jianghong Huang
    • Yujie Liang
    • Meiquan Xu
    • Jianyi Xiong
    • Daping Wang
    • Qiang Ding
  • View Affiliations

  • Published online on: February 8, 2018     https://doi.org/10.3892/ol.2018.7994
  • Pages:4979-4987
  • Copyright: © Huang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License.

Metrics: HTML 0 views | PDF 0 views     Cited By (CrossRef): 0 citations

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to investigate the clinical significance of hsa-microRNA-124-3p (miR-124) in osteosarcoma (OS), and examine its role in cell growth and invasion. Using a microRNA chip array, the expression of miR‑124 was detected in samples of surgically resected OS and matched against the levels of expression in tumor‑adjacent normal tissues. The levels of miR‑124 were upregulated in the OS cells through the transfection of miR‑124 mimics. Cell proliferation and Transwell assays were performed to determine cell proliferation and invasion; Reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction, western blot and luciferase assays were then used to detect the expression of the target gene snail family zinc finger 2 (Snail2). The expression of miR‑124 was significantly lower in the OS tissues, compared with that in the tumor‑adjacent normal tissues; and the expression of miR‑124 in the tumor tissues was significantly associated with tumor size. miR‑124 directly repressed the expression of Snail2, and resulted in a significant inhibition of cell proliferation and invasion. In a mouse model, the overexpression of miR‑124 significantly inhibited U2OS cell proliferation and invasion. Taken together, miR‑124 was associated with the adverse clinical and pathological features observed in OS. It acted as a tumor suppressor to regulate the proliferation and invasion of OS cells by targeting Snail2, suggesting that miR‑124 may be key in the progression of OS.

Introduction

Osteosarcoma (OS) is one of the most common and life-threatening primary malignant tumors, particularly in children and young adults (1,2). Although it is a rare malignant bone neoplasm, its incidence has been reported to be increasing at an annual rate of 1.4% over the last 25 years (3,4). Advances in the diagnosis and treatment of other types of cancer have markedly reduced OS incidence and mortality rates, however, the 5-year overall survival rate for OS remains low (4,5). This may be attributed to its high recurrence rate, or its tendency to rapidly destroy surrounding tissues and metastasize to other tissues. As a result, patients with metastasized OS have <20% chance of long-term survival despite the use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy (6). Previous studies report a lack of complete understanding with regard to the initiation and development of OS metastasis; the biological and pathological information underlying these processes remain to be fully elucidated. Therefore, in addition to investigating innovative treatments for OS, its biological mechanisms require elucidation.

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) function as genetic modulators, which regulate the translation from mRNA to protein by targeting the 3′untranslated region (3′UTR) of cognate targets (7). They are also involved in a wide range of biological processes, including tumor cell migration, invasion, proliferation, cell cycle and apoptosis (8,9).

Increasing evidence has indicated that the dysregulation of miRNAs contributes to the proliferation and invasion of human cancer. A previous study, which compared the miRNA expression profiles of human OS cell lines with those in clinical samples, found that miRNA (miR)-1, miR-9, miR-18a, miR-18b, miR-126, miR-133b, miR-144, miR-195 and miR-451 were decreased in cell lines and clinical samples, compared with normal bone tissues (1012). This demonstrated that certain miRNAs, including miR-33a, miR-150, miR-497 and miR-506, act as tumor suppressors (1316). A number of previous studies have identified that miRNAs may serve as biomarkers for cancer risk stratification, outcome prediction, and even classification of the severity of the cancer (17). The identification of the miRNA molecule targets involved in tumor pathology may also provide insights into OS prognosis and facilitate the development of therapy for patients with OS (9).

To understand the biological functions of miRNA in OS, the present study applied the model used in previous studies using clinical samples of OS (18). The expression of miRNAs was detected in samples of surgically resected OS and matched to tumor-adjacent normal tissues via a miRNA chip. Using this miRNA chip, it was found that miR-124 was markedly downregulated in the OS tissues, compared with that in the adjacent normal bone tissues. Previous clinical studies have reported that miR-124 dysregulation occurs in several types of cancer (1822), however, the roles of miR-124 in human OS have not been well clarified. Therefore, the present study aimed to examine the biological functions and molecular mechanisms of miR-124 in OS, and discuss its future prospect as a therapeutic biomarker of OS.

Gain-of-function studies showed that the upregulation of miR-124 in OS cells was significantly correlated with the proliferation, invasion and tumor growth of OS cell lines. miR-124 significantly decreased tumor volume and weight in vivo. Bioinformatics analysis predicted that snail family zinc finger 2 (Snail2) may be a potential target of miR-124. The subsequent luciferase reporter assay suggested that miR-124 directly targeted the Snail2 3′UTR. The present study provided novel evidence that miR-124 directly inhibited the expression of Snail2. Therefore, miR-124 inhibited the proliferation and invasion of OS cells by repressing the expression of Snail2.

The results of the present study suggested that miR-124 inhibited the proliferation and invasion of OS cells by downregulating Snail2, and that the downregulation of Snail2 was essential for the miR-124-induced inhibited invasion of OS cells.

Materials and methods

Clinical specimens, cell culture, and cell transfection

A total of three paraffin-embedded OS specimens and three corresponding adjacent OS samples were obtained from the Shenzhen Second People's Hospital, the First Hospital Affiliated to Shenzhen University (Shenzhen, China) and were used in accordance with the policies of the Hospital's Institutional Review Board. The samples were selected from patients who had not been previously treated with chemotherapeutic drugs. All specimens were histologically and clinically diagnosed at the Department of Orthopedics.

All diagnoses were confirmed via light microscopy. No patient had received any antitumor treatments prior to the biopsy. The U2OS and Saos-2 human OS cell lines (Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China) were cultured in Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium (DMEM; Gibco; Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc., Waltham, USA) supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS; Gibco; Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc.) and 1% penicillin-streptomycin (100 U/ml penicillin and 100 µg/ml streptomycin) at 37°C with 5% CO2.

The miR-124 mimics and negative control duplex were synthesized by Shanghai GenePharma Co., Ltd. (Shanghai, China). The U2OS and Saos-2 cells were seeded in 6-well plates at 50% confluence 1 day prior to transfection. Lipofectamine 2000 reagent (Invitrogen; Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc.) was used to perform transfection in the miR-mimics group (cells transfected with miR-124 mimics) and miR-control group (cells transfected with negative control duplex). The transfection complexes were prepared according to the manufacturer's protocol.

Cell proliferation assay

The effects of miR-124 on U2OS proliferation were assessed using a Cell Counting Kit-8 (CCK-8) assay. Cells in the exponential phase were seeded in 96-well plates at a density of 1×103 cells per well. Following a 24-h growth period, the cells were cultured in DMEM with 100 nM of either miR-control or miR-124 mimic. Following incubation for 24, 36, 48, 60 or 72 h, the supernatant was removed and 10 µl CCK-8 was added to each well. Following a 2-h incubation period at 37°C, the absorbance was measured at a wavelength of 450 nm with a Thermoplate microplate reader (Rayto Life and Analytical Science Co., Ltd., Shenzhen, China). Each group was read three times, and an average was calculated.

Colony formation assay

For the colony formation assay, the cells were inoculated onto 6-well plates at a density of 200 cells/well. Following culture for 14 days, the cells were transfected, and the colonies were fixed with methanol and stained with 0.5% crystal violet. The colony number of each group was then counted under an inverted optical microscope (IX70; Olympus, Tokyo, Japan).

Transmembrane invasion assay

The U2OS cells were transfected with miR-124 or miR-control for 12 h; the cells (5×104 cells/500 µl) were then transferred into the upper chamber of Millicell inserts with an 8-µm pore size polyporous membrane (EMD Millipore, Billerica, MA, USA) in serum-free DMEM. A low-serum medium (0.5% FBS) was added to the lower chambers as the chemoattractant. Cell invasion was allowed to proceed for 24 h at 37°C in the incubator. Following incubation, those cells which had invaded through the membrane were fixed with 10% paraformaldehyde for 30 min, stained with 0.5% crystal violet staining solution, and images were captured for counting under a microscope using a digital camera.

Luciferase activity assay

Primers were designed in accordance with the GenBank query Snail2 gene mRNA (NM_003068) sequence (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/nuccore/NM_003068). 3′UTR of a Snail2 from cDNA A fragment of the 3′UTR of Snail2 was amplified from the cNDA from U2OS cells via polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using the following primers: Forward, 5′-CCCCTCGAGGTGACGCAATCAATGTTTACTCGAACAG-3′ and reverse, 5′-CGGGCGGCCGCCTTGTTAACAAACAATTCTTTGTAC-3′ To run the reaction, 100 ng of cDNA, 1 µM of each primer, 10 µl 10X Pfu buffer mix, 1 mM dNTPs mixture, and 1 µl PrimeSTAR HS DNA Polymerase (Takara Biotechnology Co., Ltd., Dalian, China) were mixture with deionized water <50 µl, in thermocycler for 95°C for 10 sec, followed by 30 cycles of 95°C for 5 sec, and 55°C for 30 sec, 1 min at 68°C, finally 7 min at 72°C. Following digestion of the PCR product with 0.5 µl XhoI and 0.5 µl NotI (Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc.) at 37°C for 1 h, gel purification of the digested PCR product was ligated into the XhoI/NotI-digested pSiCHECK2 vector (Promega Corporation, Madison, WI, USA) at 16°C overnight. The resultant plasmid was named pSiCHECK2-Snail2 3′UTR wt. The mutations of the three sites of perfect complementarity were introduced by synthesizing the DNA mutation code; this was then amplified by PCR and cloned into the XhoI/NotI sites of the psiCHECKTM-2 vector (Promega Corporation) in order to perform the luciferase assay. All PCR products were verified by DNA sequencing. The U2OS cells were co-transfected with the pSiCHECK2 vectors containing the 3′UTR variants and either the miR-124 mimic or the control miRNA. Following transfection for 24 h, the Dual-Luciferase Reporter Assay system (Promega Corporation) was used to measure luciferase activity via a thermoplate reader (Rayto Life and Analytical Science Co., Ltd.) according to the manufacturer's protocol. The firefly luciferase activity was then normalized to the Renilla luciferase activity.

RNA extraction and reverse transcription-quantitative (RT-q) PCR analysis

Total RNA was isolated from the U2OS cells using the TRIzol reagent (Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc.). The RNA extract was then subjected to an RT reaction using the M-MLV reverse transcriptase (Takara Biotechnology Co., Ltd., Dalian, China); this was performed according to the manufacturer's protocol. The miRNAs were reverse transcribed using the sequence-specific primers listed in Table I. The PCR analysis was performed in an ABI 7500 cycler (Applied Biosystems; Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc.). The cycling temperatures were as follows: Denaturing, 95°C; annealing, 60°C; extension, 70°C. In detail, the 20 µl PCR reaction mixture included 2.0 µl RT product, 1 µl PCR each primer, 10 µl Premix Ex Taq (Takara Biotechnology Co., Ltd.), 6 µl deionized water. These reaction mixtures were incubated at 95°C for 10 sec, followed by 40 cycles of 95°C for 5 sec, and 60°C for 30 sec. All reactions were run in triplicate. The relative expression levels of the target gene Snail2 were evaluated based on the reference gene β-actin with the principle of SYBR-Green technology. The relative expression of miR-124 was detected using a SYBR PrimeScript miRNA RT-qPCR kit (Takara Biotechnology Co., Ltd.). This was performed according to the manufacturer's protocol, using U-6 as an internal control. All data analyses were performed using the 2−ΔΔCq method (23).

Table I.

Primers used for reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis and miR reverse transcription.

Table I.

Primers used for reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis and miR reverse transcription.

NameSequence
miR-124-RT 5′-GTCGTATCCAGTGCAGGGTCCGAGGTATTCGCACTGGATACGACGGCATTC-3′
miR-124-F 5′-GCTTAAGGCACGCGG-3′
miR-124-R 5′-GTGCAGGGTCCGAGG-3′
U6-F 5′-CTCGCTTCGGCAGCACATATACT-3′
U6-R 5′-ACGCTTCACGAATTTGCGTGT-3′
U6 snRNA-RT 5′-AAAATATGGAACGCTTCACGAATT-3′
β-actin-F 5′-ATATCGCTGCGCTGGTCGTC-3′
β-actin-R 5′-AGGATGGCGTAGGGAGAG-3′
Snail2-F 5′-TGTTGCAGTGAGGGCAAGAA-3′
Snail2-R 5′-GACCCTGGTTGCTTCAAGGA-3′

[i] miR, microRNA; F, forward primer; R, reverse primer; RT, loop primer for miR reverse transcription; snRNA, small nuclear RNA.

Western blot analysis

The U2OS cells, transfected for 48 h with either miR-124 mimic or with miR-control oligonucleotide, were harvested and lysed in lysis buffer (1% SDS containing 50 mM NaF, 1.5 mM Na3VO4 and 0.5 mM PMSF). After determining the protein concentration using a bicinchoninic acid protein (BCA) assay kit (Pierce; Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc.). Equal quantities (50 µg) of total proteins were separated on 12% SDS-polyacrylamide gels and transferred onto a polyvinylidene fluoride membrane. Then the membranes were blocked with TBST (TBS 0.1% Tween-20) containing 5% non-fat dry milk, followed by immunoblotting with primary antibodies against Snail2 (dilution, 1:1,000; cat. no. sc-166476; Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Inc., Dallas, TX, USA) or GAPDH (dilution, 1:1,000; cat. no. sc-47724; Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Inc.) overnight at 4°C. Membranes were washed with TBST, incubated for 1 h at room temperature with by horseradish-peroxidase-conjugated secondary antibody (dilution, 1:5,000; cat. no. W4021; Promega Corporation) for 1 h, and visualized using an enhanced chemiluminescence detection kit (Pierce; Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc.). The images were captured and visualized via chemiluminescence.

In vivo tumor growth model

To determine the in vivo tumorigenicity, subcutaneous animal models were established. A total of 18 male BALB/c athymic nude mice, aged 4–6 weeks, body weight 15–20 g were purchased from Vital River Laboratories Co., Ltd. (Beijing, China), provided with sterilized water and food, and housed in standard lab conditions with 12 h light/dark cycles. The procedures for the care and use of animals followed the guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (24) and experimental protocols were approved by the Animal Care and Use Ethics Committee of Shenzhen University. The mice were randomly divided into three groups (n=6 per group) according to the injected cells. Following lentivirus infection and selection, the U2OS cells found to stably express miR-124 (miR-124) and empty vector cells (miR-NC) were washed and re-suspended with PBS; 1×106 cells (200 µl) were then subcutaneously injected into the dorsal flank of the nude mice. The mice were monitored daily for 1 month following injection, and the size of the xenografted OS tissues and the tumor formation rate of the three groups were compared. After 22 days, the mice were sacrificed and the tumors were dissected and weighed.

Bioinformatics and statistical analysis

The miRNA targets predicted by computer-aided algorithms were obtained from TargetScan (http://www.targetscan.org). Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS 17.0 software (SPSS, Inc., Chicago, IL, USA). All data are presented as the mean ± standard deviation. Statistical differences were measured using one-way analysis of variance and Student's t-test. P<0.05 was considered to indicate a statistically significant difference.

Results

miR-124 is downregulated in human OS

The total RNAs isolated from three paired OS and adjacent normal colorectal tissues were analyzed via a miRNA array. The relative changes in the expression levels were indicated by a color code. However, a limitation of the miRNA array was that only a small quantity of samples was used; from a clinical perspective, it may be difficult to obtain biopsies from patients who have not previously treated with chemotherapeutic drugs. The histological assessment of adjacent normal bone tissues and OS tissues is shown in Fig. 1. Notably, of the miRNA array results, miR-124 was one of the most frequently downregulated miRNAs in human OS. miR-124 was expressed at significantly lower levels in the OS tissues, compared with the adjacent normal tissues, as shown in Fig. 2.

Overexpression of miR-124 inhibits the proliferation and invasion of OS cells

The clinical results suggested that miR-124 was significantly downregulated; therefore, it was hypothesized that this downregulation of miR-124 may contribute to the progression of OS. Accordingly, the overexpression of miR-124 in OS-adjacent normal tissues may inhibit the malignant phenotype of OS cells. To examine the function of miR-124 in the cell model, miR-124 mimics and negative control miR-124 were transiently transfected into the OS cell line, and the rates of proliferation and invasion were evaluated. The overexpression of miR-124 in U2OS and Saos-2 cells demonstrated a smaller number of colonies and had a lower clonogenic capability (Fig. 3). The CCK-8 assay indicated lower cell proliferation rates in the Saos-2 and U2OS cells when overexpressing miR-124 (Fig. 4). Therefore, these results indicated that miR-124 significantly reduced cell proliferation and clonogenicity. In addition, miR-124 inhibited the invasion of human OS cells. The relative crystal staining in the miR-124 group was significantly slower, compared with that in the control group (Fig. 5A); this suggested that the number of invaded cells through the polyporous membrane was significantly lower in the miR-124 group, compared with that in the control group (Fig. 5B and C).

Overexpression of miR-124 inhibits OS tumor formation in vivo

To confirm that the biological effects of miR-124 observed in the cultured cells are relevant to OS growth and invasion in vivo, and to further confirm whether miR-124 inhibits tumor growth, a BALB/c mouse OS xenograft model was established using the U2OS OS cell line. miR-124 and the control cells were subcutaneously inoculated into BALB/C athymic nude mice and U2OS tumor cells were subcutaneously injected into the neck. As shown in Fig. 6A, the tumors formed by miR-124 cells grew more slowly than those formed by the vector control cells following inoculation. Additionally, the difference in the average tumor volume between the experimental and control group of animals continued to increase, being two-fold higher at the experimental endpoint (22 days; Fig. 6A and B). Decreases in the sizes and weights of the tumors excised from animals in the miR-124-overexpression group were also observed, compared with those of the control group (Fig. 6B). These data indicated a significant reduction in tumor volume in the miR-124 transfected cells, compared with the mock control group and the miR-control group (P<0.01; Fig. 6B).

Snail2 is a direct target of miR-124

miRNA functions in the post-transcriptional regulator of gene expression by targeting the 3′UTR of mRNAs; therefore, the present study used the miRNA target prediction database TargetScan (http://www.targetscan.org/) to identify the miR-124 target for further computational analyses. As predicted by the TargetScan database, miR-124 contains three potential target sites in the Snail2 3′UTR region. These binding sites (positions 439–446, 639–645 and 843–849) are highly conserved in mammals (Fig. 7A). To examine the association between miR-124 and Snail2, it was necessary to first identify the function of miR-124 on the Snail2 3′UTR. The full length wild-type Snail2 mRNA 3′UTR was cloned into the downstream of the Renilla luciferase gene in the psiCHECK-2 vector, using the firefly luciferase coding gene as an internal control. A dual-luciferase reporter assay presented changes in relative luciferase activity in each group following transfection. The luciferase activity was significantly decreased in the group co-transfected with the pSiCHECK2-Snail2 3′UTR wt and miR-124, compared with the other groups (P<0.01; Fig. 7B). The mutation of the three binding positions resulted in reporter activity recovery in two OS cells. These results indicated that miR-124 directly targeted Snail2 mRNA via the putative binding sites in the three positions of the Snail2 3′UTR, suggesting that the suppression was recovered by mutating the miR-124 binding site in the UTR region. The effect of miR-124 on the expression of Snail2 was further analyzed using RT-qPCR and western blot analyses. Western blot analysis was performed in order to determine the protein expressions of Snail2 and GAPDH. RT-qPCR analysis was used to detect the expression of Snail2 and β-actin at the mRNA levels. The expression of Snail2 was attenuated in the miR-124-transfected group, compared with that in the NC and control groups. As shown in Fig. 7C and D, the expression of Snail2 was decreased at the mRNA and protein levels in the miR-124-transfected group, compared with either the blank control group or the empty miR control group (P<0.05).

Discussion

MicroRNAs are important epigenetic regulators of gene expression at the posttranscriptional level and are involved in basic biological processes, including cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. In accordance with this, deregulated miRNA expression has been implicated in several diseases; for example, it is important in the development and progression of human malignancies. Several miRNAs have been linked to OS, however, their role in the regulation of OS remains to be fully elucidated.

miR-124 is the most abundant, well-conserved specific miRNA expressed in brain tissue, however, it has also been observed to be involved tumors, including gastric cancer, breast cancer, nasopharyngeal carcinoma and hepatocellular carcinoma, where it is considered one of the expression-silenced miRNAs (2527). In the present study, it was demonstrated that miR-124 was downregulated in OS, suggesting that miR-124 functions as a tumor suppressor. Substantial evidence has shed light on the importance of miR-124 in the development and progression of other types of cancer. However, the involvement of miR-124 in human OS remains to be fully elucidated. The present preliminary study examined human OS tissues and normal tissues from different patients, using the human Saos-2 and U2OS OS cell lines. Gain-of-function experiments were performed using miR-124 mimic transfection. Quantitative cell invasion assays were performed, and cell proliferation was examined via CCK-8. The miR-124 mimics inhibited OS cell proliferation and invasion. The results suggested that miR-124 was involved in regulating the proliferation and invasion of U2OS and Saos-2 human OS cells. Therefore, the regulation of OS cell invasion and migration by miR-124 may be associated with the expression of important genes involved in OS cell invasion. The present study also investigated the possible regulation of target gene expression by miR-124 and noted that miR-124 has three conserved binding sites on the 3′UTR of transcription factor Snail2 mRNA. Based on these findings, it was hypothesized that miR-124 directly targets Snail2 mRNA.

Snail2 is an alias for the Slug gene in humans. Snail2 is a member of the Snail C2H2-type zinc-finger transcriptional repressor protein family. This gene shares homologies with other species, including mice, rats, zebrafish, frogs and flies. Snail2 is known to stimulate angiogenesis, cell proliferation and invasion in human tumor malignancies, including OS, where it primarily promotes the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in tumor progression and metastasis (2830). Evidence has shown that the transcription factors involved in the EMT are significant in OS (3133). Therefore, it is feasible to hypothesize that miR-124 targets certain important transcription factors in OS.

The results of the present study supported the hypothesis that miR-124 directly targets the Snail2 gene in human OS. The transfection of OS cells with miR-124 mimics suppressed the expression of Snail2. To determine whether miR-124 targets Snail2 directly, reporter assays were performed. According to the results of the dual-luciferase reporter system, miR-124 decreased the activity of a luciferase reporter fused to the Snail2 3′UTR, suggesting that miR-124 inhibits the reporter activity of gene expression by targeting the Snail2 3′UTR in OS cells. This supports the hypothesis that Snail2 serves as a candidate target gene of miR-124. The present study used western blot analysis and RT-qPCR analyses for the expression of Snail2 in order to further validate the role of Snail2 as a target for miR-124. As Snail2 has traditionally been implicated in promoting EMT in the various systems of tumor progression, it is of note in the described mechanism that miR-124 appears to be necessary for repressing the expression of Snail2. This inhibition, in turn, decreases the EMT level localized at the cell membrane, including the level of β-catenin, and reduces OS invasion. This role of miR-124/Snail2 may assist in the development of novel anti-metastatic therapeutics for OS and improve the understanding of EMT mechanisms in the OS systems.

The present study provided information on the function of miR-124 in OS and suggested that miR-124 may offer potential as a novel therapy for OS. However, the mechanism underlying the inhibition induced by miR-124 on OS remains to be fully elucidated, as miR-124 has multiple targets in addition to Snail2. For example, there is evidence that miR-124 targets the expression of integrin αV to inhibit human hepatocellular carcinoma invasion (34). In addition, Snail2 is affected by other miRNAs (31,35). It may be meaningful to examine the effects of other miRNAs and proteins with regard to OS (36). The preliminary experiments in the present study suggested a role for miR-124 as a suppressor of miRNA in human OS cells, resulting in the suppression of tumor cell proliferation and invasion. Further experiments are recommended to investigate the role of miR-124 in OS with a focus on the EMT process.

miR-124 may also be established as an OS biomarker. Therefore, novel and improved diagnostic and prognostic molecular targets are necessary, particularly for patient groups with a high risk for OS progression, recurrence and metastasis.

In conclusion, the findings of the present study revealed that miR-124, which was downregulated in OS, functioned as a protective miRNA by attenuating OS cell proliferation and invasion. Furthermore, the potential mechanism may involve regulating the Snail2 pathway, providing novel insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying the progression of OS and potential therapeutic targets towards a novel treatment for OS.

Acknowledgements

The present study was financially supported by grants from the Shenzhen R & D Funding Project (grant nos. JCYJ20140414170821318, JCYJ20170306092315034 and CXZZ20140813160132596), the Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province, China (grant no. 81572198), Guangdong Province Science and Technology Project (grant no. 2017A020215116), Guangdong Province Medical Research Fund Project(grant no. A2017189) and the Fund for High Level Medical Discipline Construction of Shenzhen University (grant no. 2016031638).

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

References

1 

Durfee RA, Mohammed M and Luu HH: Review of osteosarcoma and current management. Rheumatol Ther. 3:221–243. 2016. View Article : Google Scholar : PubMed/NCBI

2 

Mirabello L, Troisi RJ and Savage SA: International osteosarcoma incidence patterns in children and adolescents, middle ages and elderly persons. Int J Cancer. 125:229–234. 2009. View Article : Google Scholar : PubMed/NCBI

3 

Ottaviani G and Jaffe N: The epidemiology of osteosarcoma = Pediatric and adolescent osteosarcoma. Springer; pp. 3–13. 2009

4 

Mirabello L, Troisi RJ and Savage SA: Osteosarcoma incidence and survival rates from 1973 to 2004: Data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program. Cancer. 115:1531–1543. 2009. View Article : Google Scholar : PubMed/NCBI

5 

Lamplot JD, Denduluri S, Qin J, Li R, Liu X, Zhang H, Chen X, Wang N, Pratt A, Shui W, et al: The current and future therapies for human osteosarcoma. Curr Cancer Ther Rev. 9:55–77. 2013. View Article : Google Scholar : PubMed/NCBI

6 

Carrle D and Bielack SS: Current strategies of chemotherapy in osteosarcoma. Int Orthop. 30:445–451. 2006. View Article : Google Scholar : PubMed/NCBI

7 

Krol J, Loedige I and Filipowicz W: The widespread regulation of microRNA biogenesis, function and decay. Nat Rev Genet. 11:597–610. 2010. View Article : Google Scholar : PubMed/NCBI

8 

Bartel DP: MicroRNAs: Genomics, biogenesis, mechanism, and function. Cell. 116:281–297. 2004. View Article : Google Scholar : PubMed/NCBI

9 

Calin GA and Croce CM: MicroRNA signatures in human cancers. Nat Rev Cancer. 6:857–866. 2006. View Article : Google Scholar : PubMed/NCBI

10 

Namløs HM, Meza-Zepeda LA, Barøy T, Østensen IH, Kresse SH, Kuijjer ML, Serra M, Bürger H, Cleton-Jansen AM and Myklebost O: Modulation of the osteosarcoma expression phenotype by microRNAs. PLoS One. 7:e480862012. View Article : Google Scholar : PubMed/NCBI

11 

Li JP, Liu LH, Li J, Chen Y, Jiang XW, Ouyang YR, Liu YQ, Zhong H, Li H and Xiao T: Microarray expression profile of long noncoding RNAs in human osteosarcoma. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 433:200–206. 2013. View Article : Google Scholar : PubMed/NCBI

12 

Hu H, Zhang Y, Cai XH, Huang JF and Cai L: Changes in microRNA expression in the MG-63 osteosarcoma cell line compared with osteoblasts. Oncol Lett. 4:1037–1042. 2012. View Article : Google Scholar : PubMed/NCBI

13 

Gai P, Sun H, Wang G, Xu Q, Qi X, Zhang Z and Jiang L: miR-22 promotes apoptosis of osteosarcoma cells via inducing cell cycle arrest. Oncol Lett. 13:2354–2358. 2017. View Article : Google Scholar : PubMed/NCBI

14 

Li CH, Yu TB, Qiu HW, Zhao X, Zhou CL and Qi C: miR-150 is downregulated in osteosarcoma and suppresses cell proliferation, migration and invasion by targeting ROCK1. Oncol Lett. 13:2191–2197. 2017. View Article : Google Scholar : PubMed/NCBI

15 

Yao J, Qin L, Miao S, Wang X and Wu X: Overexpression of miR-506 suppresses proliferation and promotes apoptosis of osteosarcoma cells by targeting astrocyte elevated gene-1. Oncol Lett. 12:1840–1848. 2016. View Article : Google Scholar : PubMed/NCBI

16 

Zhang J, Wang D, Xiong J, Chen L and Huang J: MicroRNA-33a-5p suppresses growth of osteosarcoma cells and is downregulated in human osteosarcoma. Oncol Lett. 10:2135–2141. 2015. View Article : Google Scholar : PubMed/NCBI

17 

Li S, Gao Y, Wang Y, Wang K, Dai ZP, Xu D, Liu W, Li ZL, Zhang ZD, Yang SH and Yang C: Serum microRNA-17 functions as a prognostic biomarker in osteosarcoma. Oncol Lett. 12:4905–4910. 2016. View Article : Google Scholar : PubMed/NCBI

18 

Novello C, Pazzaglia L, Cingolani C, Conti A, Quattrini I, Manara MC, Tognon M, Picci P and Benassi MS: miRNA expression profile in human osteosarcoma: Role of miR-1 and miR-133b in proliferation and cell cycle control. Int J Oncol. 42:667–675. 2013. View Article : Google Scholar : PubMed/NCBI

19 

Li X, Fan Q, Li J, Song J and Gu Y: MiR-124 down-regulation is critical for cancer associated fibroblasts-enhanced tumor growth of oral carcinoma. Exp Cell Res. 351:100–108. 2017. View Article : Google Scholar : PubMed/NCBI

20 

Hao C, Xu X, Ma J, Xia J, Dai B, Liu L and Ma Y: MicroRNA-124 regulates the radiosensitivity of non-small cell lung cancer cells by targeting TXNRD1. Oncol Lett. 13:2071–2078. 2017. View Article : Google Scholar : PubMed/NCBI

21 

Zhao Y, Ling Z, Hao Y, Pang X, Han X, Califano JA, Shan L and Gu X: MiR-124 acts as a tumor suppressor by inhibiting the expression of sphingosine kinase 1 and its downstream signaling in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Oncotarget. 8:25005–25020. 2017.PubMed/NCBI

22 

Li SL, Gao HL, Lv XK, Hei YR, Li PZ, Zhang JX and Lu N: MicroRNA-124 inhibits cell invasion and epithelial-mesenchymal transition by directly repressing Snail2 in gastric cancer. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 21:3389–3396. 2017.PubMed/NCBI

23 

Livak KJ and Schmittgen TD: Analysis of relative gene expression data using real-time quantitative PCR and the 2(-Delta Delta C(T)) method. Methods. 25:402–408. 2001. View Article : Google Scholar : PubMed/NCBI

24 

National Research Council, . Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. National Academy Press; Washington, DC: 1996

25 

Sun AG, Wang MG, Li B and Meng FG: Down-regulation of miR-124 target protein SCP-1 inhibits neuroglioma cell migration. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 21:723–729. 2017.PubMed/NCBI

26 

Li Z, Wang X, Li W, Wu L, Chang L and Chen H: miRNA-124 modulates lung carcinoma cell migration and invasion. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 54:603–612. 2016. View Article : Google Scholar : PubMed/NCBI

27 

Zhang F, Wang B, Long H, Yu J, Li F, Hou H and Yang Q: Decreased miR-124-3p expression prompted breast cancer cell progression mainly by targeting beclin-1. Clin Lab. 62:1139–1145. 2016. View Article : Google Scholar : PubMed/NCBI

28 

Yang T, Chen M and Sun T: Simvastatin attenuates TGF-β1-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition in human alveolar epithelial cells. Cell Physiol Biochem. 31:863–874. 2013. View Article : Google Scholar : PubMed/NCBI

29 

Villarejo A, Cortés-Cabrera A, Molina-Ortiz P, Portillo F and Cano A: Differential role of Snail1 and Snail2 zinc fingers in E-cadherin repression and epithelial to mesenchymal transition. J Biol Chem. 289:930–941. 2014. View Article : Google Scholar : PubMed/NCBI

30 

Mathsyaraja H and Ostrowski MC: Setting Snail2′s pace during EMT. Nat Cell Biol. 14:1122–1123. 2012. View Article : Google Scholar : PubMed/NCBI

31 

Zhang D and Liu S: SOX5 promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition in osteosarcoma via regulation of Snail. J BUON. 22:258–264. 2017.PubMed/NCBI

32 

Xiao JN, Yan TH, Yu RM, Gao Y, Zeng WL, Lu SW, Que HX, Liu ZP and Jiang JH: Long non-coding RNA UCA1 regulates the expression of Snail2 by miR-203 to promote hepatocellular carcinoma progression. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 143:981–990. 2017. View Article : Google Scholar : PubMed/NCBI

33 

Sun Z, Hu W, Xu J, Kaufmann AM and Albers AE: MicroRNA-34a regulates epithelial-mesenchymal transition and cancer stem cell phenotype of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma in vitro. Int J Oncol. 47:1339–1350. 2015. View Article : Google Scholar : PubMed/NCBI

34 

Cai QQ, Dong YW, Wang R, Qi B, Guo JX, Pan J, Liu YY, Zhang CY and Wu XZ: MiR-124 inhibits the migration and invasion of human hepatocellular carcinoma cells by suppressing integrin αV expression. Sci Rep. 7:407332017. View Article : Google Scholar : PubMed/NCBI

35 

Yu Z, Zhang Y, Gao N and Wang X: Overexpression of miR-506 inhibits growth of osteosarcoma through Snail2. Am J Transl Res. 7:2716–2723. 2015.PubMed/NCBI

36 

Diaz-Lopez A, Moreno-Bueno G and Cano A: Role of microRNA in epithelial to mesenchymal transition and metastasis and clinical perspectives. Cancer Manag Res. 6:205–216. 2014.PubMed/NCBI

Related Articles

Journal Cover

April 2018
Volume 15 Issue 4

Print ISSN: 1792-1074
Online ISSN:1792-1082

Sign up for eToc alerts

Recommend to Library

Copy and paste a formatted citation
APA
Huang, J., Liang, Y., Xu, M., Xiong, J., Wang, D., & Ding, Q. (2018). MicroRNA‑124 acts as a tumor‑suppressive miRNA by inhibiting the expression of Snail2 in osteosarcoma. Oncology Letters, 15, 4979-4987. https://doi.org/10.3892/ol.2018.7994
MLA
Huang, J., Liang, Y., Xu, M., Xiong, J., Wang, D., Ding, Q."MicroRNA‑124 acts as a tumor‑suppressive miRNA by inhibiting the expression of Snail2 in osteosarcoma". Oncology Letters 15.4 (2018): 4979-4987.
Chicago
Huang, J., Liang, Y., Xu, M., Xiong, J., Wang, D., Ding, Q."MicroRNA‑124 acts as a tumor‑suppressive miRNA by inhibiting the expression of Snail2 in osteosarcoma". Oncology Letters 15, no. 4 (2018): 4979-4987. https://doi.org/10.3892/ol.2018.7994