Background: MicroRNAs (miRs) are small noncoding RNAs that are crucial in the development and progression of tumours. Melanoma is an aggressive form of skin cancer and is resistant to most of the chemotherapeutic agents. However, the role of miRs in melanoma remains poorly studied.
Objective: The work aimed to demonstrate that miR-331-3p is downregulated in melanoma against the benign melanocytic nevi.
Methods: RT-PCR analysis was performed for the expression of proteins; cell proliferation and wound healing assays were carried out. Flow cytometry study was conducted for cell cycle analysis; colony formation assay was performed by soft agar method. For developing a tumour xenograft model, nu/nu mice were selected.
Results: Up-regulation of miR-331-3p in melanoma cells decreased cell proliferation, cell migration, and also drug resistance. Over-expression of miR-331-3p resulted in suppression of NRP2 and up-regulation of E-cadherin levels. Moreover, the levels of MDR1, ABCG-2, and ABCG-5 were decreased. However, the knockdown of NRP2 demonstrated similar effects as that of miR- 331-3p overexpression in tumour cells. Overexpression of miR-331-3p caused significant inhibition of tumour growth and its metastasis in mice model of melanoma, which was associated with depletion of NRP2 protein and increased expression of E-cadherin. However, the effects of miR- 331-3p on the migration, cell proliferation, and self-renewal were overturned by the upregulation of NRP2, which also resulted in the inhibition of E-cadherin and overexpression of MDR-1, ABCG-2, and ABCG-5.
Conclusion: The findings point out the key role of miR-331-3p in the progression and drug resistance of melanoma involving NRP2.
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