MicroRNA-448/EPHA7 axis regulates cell proliferation, invasion and migration via regulation of PI3K/AKT signaling pathway and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in non-small cell lung cancer

Lung Cancer

Liu HY, et al. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2020.


OBJECTIVE: Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a primary subtype of lung cancers which has a high morbidity and poor prognosis. Emerging evidence has demonstrated that aberrantly expressed microRNAs (miRNAs) were implicated in the regulatory functions of multiple processes during tumorigenesis. In the current study, we explored the functional roles and underlying mechanisms of miR-448 in NSCLC.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction assays were conducted to measure miR-448 expressions in 51 pairs of NSCLC tissues and corresponding normal tissues. Moreover, the relationship between miR-448 expressions and clinicopathological characteristics of NSCLC patients was also determined. We then performed transwell assays to explore the functions of miR-448 in NSCLC cell invasion and migration. As we had identified EPHA7 as a functional target of miR-448 in NSCLC cells, the clinical significance of EPHA7 in NSCLC patients was further investigated. Finally, we detected the influence of miR-448 on tumor growth rate and tumor size of NSCLC using tumor xenografts.

RESULTS: Underexpressed miR-448 was identified in NSCLC, and low miR-448 expression was confirmed to be associated with the poor prognosis and adverse clinicopathologic features of NSCLC patients. Moreover, functional assays demonstrated that miR-448 overexpression suppressed NSCLC cell proliferation, invasion and migration. EPHA7 was identified as a direct target of miR-448. Additionally, miR-448 restoration suppressed in vivo NSCLC cell growth. Finally, our studies also indicated that miR-448 exerted anti-NSCLC functions via regulating PI3K/AKT signaling pathway and EMT.

CONCLUSIONS: These results showed that miR-448/EPHA7 axis maybe one of the useful diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for NSCLC patients.