Background: Esophageal Carcinoma (EC) is the eighth most common cancer worldwide. Numerous studies have highlighted a vital role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the development of EC. However, the mechanism of microRNA (miRNA)-141 in Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma (ESCC) remains unknown.
Objective: In this study, we explored the effects of miRNA-141 on EC cell proliferation, apoptosis, xenograft tumour growth and their possible mechanisms.
Methods: A lentivirus-vector-expressing miRNA-141 was constructed, and a TE-1 cell line of ESCC with a stable expression of miRNA-141 was transfected and screened. The miRNA-141 expression level was detected using qRT-PCR. Effects of miRNA-141 overexpression on cell proliferation and apoptosis were detected using MTT and flow cytometry, respectively. Using a dual-luciferase reporter assay, a direct interaction between miRNA-141 and the 3'-Untranslated Region (UTR) of YAP1 and SOX17 was confirmed. Tumour xenograft experiment in nude mice was used to detect the tumour growth, and the effects of miRNA-141 overexpression on YAP1 and SOX17 were analysed using Western blot.
Results: We found that miRNA-141 was highly expressed in TE-1 cells, and miRNA-141 overexpression promoted cell proliferation and inhibited apoptosis. Moreover, the miRNA-141 group showed significantly increased tumour growth ability, the luciferase activities, expression levels of YAP1 and SOX17 in the miRNA-141group were significantly down-regulated.
Conclusion: miRNA-141 promotes cell proliferation and inhibits apoptosis in ESCC by down-regulating the expression level of YAP1 and SOX17, indicating that miRNA-141 may be a potential molecular target for the treatment of ESCC.