miR-486 functions as a tumor suppressor in esophageal cancer by targeting CDK4/BCAS2
Published online on: November 1, 2017
Copyright: © Lang et al.
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License.
Esophageal cancer is a common tumor for which morbidity and mortality are high worldwide. We aimed to study alterations in miR-486 expression in esophageal cancers, and the effect miR-486 on esophageal cancer cell function and behavior. We collected esophageal cancer tissues/corresponding normal tissues from 20 patients and utilized three esophageal cancer cell lines and normal esophageal epithelial cells, and the expression of miR-486, CDK4 and BCAS2 was detected by qRT-PCR. Western blotting was used to detect the expression of CDK4 and BCAS2 protein. Then, we overexpressed miR-486 in esophageal cancer cell line EC9706. A series of cell functional analyses, including cell growth, cell cycle, apoptosis, migration and invasion were performed in esophageal cancer cells using colony formation assay, flow cytometry, Transwell and scratch assays, respectively. Dual-luciferase reporter gene assay was used to detect the target genes of miR-486. We found that the expression of miR-486 in esophageal cancer tissues and cell lines was significantly lower than that in the normal tissues and normal esophageal epithelial cell line. Overexpression of miR-486 significantly inhibited the colony formation ability, induced G0/G1 phase arrest and apoptosis and suppressed cell migration and invasion in the EC9706 cells. Using bioinformatics and luciferase reporter assay, we identified that CDK4 and BCAS2 may be target genes of miR-486 and levels of CDK4 and BCAS2 were both significantly higher in the esophageal cancer tissues and cell lines than levels in the normal tissues and cells. Furthermore, knockdown of CDK4/BCAS2 coincided with the suppressive effects of miR-486 in esophageal cancer cells. Expression of apoptotic signaling molecules p21 and caspase-3 was upregulated in the CDK4/BCAS2-knockdown groups. These results suggest that miR-486 may suppress tumor cell growth and metastasis in esophageal cancer by targeting CDK4/BCAS2. The newly identified miR-486/CDK4/BCAS2 pathway provides further insight into the development and progression of esophageal cancer, which is of great significance to the early diagnosis and detection of esophageal cancer.