Suppression of Tumor Cell Invasiveness and In Vivo Tumor Growth by MicroRNA-874 in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

MicroRNAs are a novel family of small non-coding RNAs that regulate the expression of several genes involved in normal development as well as human disorders including cancer. Here we show that miR-874 plays a tumor suppressor role in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in vitro and in vivo. In silico target prediction analysis revealed numerous genes associated with tumor progression including MMP-2 and uPA as the putative target genes of miR-874. Our preliminary in situ hybridization experiments demonstrated the diminution of miR-874 expression in lung cancer tissues compared to their normal counter parts. Overexpression of miR-874 in CD133-positive cancer stem cell (CSC) population led to a significant loss in CSC-phenotype and enhanced sphere de-differentiation into epithelial-like cells. Restoration of miR-874 expression drastically reduced cell invading ability in comparison to mock and control-miR-treated cells by suppressing the protein levels of MMP-2 and uPA. In in vivo experiments, miR-874 treatment decreased orthotopic tumor growth in nude mice compared to mock and control-miR treatments. Further, the immunoreactivity of human anti-MMP-2 and anti-uPA was significantly reduced in tumor sections from mice that received miR-874 treatment. In conclusion, our study highlights the possible tumor suppressor role of miR-874 in NSCLC-initiating cells and suggests miR-874 as a potential target in the treatment of NSCLC.

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