miR-449a has been reported to act as a tumor suppressor in several cancers, however, it is controversial whether it inhibits tumor growth in colorectal cancer. The mechanisms underlying its expression and functions in colorectal cancers are still largely unknown. SATB2 is a sensitive and specific marker for CRC diagnosis. However, the mechanisms by which the expression and functions of SATB2 are regulated still remain to be clarified. We investigated the expression and functional significance of miR-449a and SATB2 and the mechanisms of their dysregulation in human CRC cells. miR-449a overexpression or SATB2 depletion inhibited tumor growth and promoted apoptosis in colorectal tumor cells in vitro and in xenograft mouse model, partially by downregulating SATB2. Expression of miR-449a was increased epigenetically via knocking down their targets, particularly SATB2. miR-449a was downregulated and STAB2 expression was upregulated in human CRCs. Their expressions were significantly associated with overall survival of CRC patients. Our findings demonstrate the existence of a miR-449a-SATB2 negative feedback loop that maintains low levels of miR-449a as well as high level of SATB2, thereby promoting CRC development.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Colorectal cancer