MiR-363-3p inhibits the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and suppresses metastasis in colorectal cancer by targeting Sox4

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2016 May 20;474(1):35-42. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2016.04.055. Epub 2016 Apr 13.


Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) plays an essential role in cancer invasion and metastasis and is associated with tumor recurrence in colorectal cancer (CRC). However, the mechanism that contributes to EMT have not been fully understood in CRC. In the present study, we showed that miR-363-3p was frequently down-regulated in CRC tissue specimens with lymph node metastasis. Moreover, we demonstrated that down-regulation of miR-363-3p promoted CRC cell migration and invasion, and induced EMT in vitro and in vivo, revealing that miR-363-3p playes a potential tumor-suppressive role in CRC. Analysis of the underlying mechanisms revealed that miR-363-3p could regulate Sox4 expression by directly targeting its 3'untranslated region. Down-regulation of miR-363-3p increased Sox4 expression and induced EMT, while overexpression of miR-363-3p decreased Sox4 expression. Taken together, our findings indicate that miR-363-3p is involved in CRC metastasis and functions as a tumor suppressor via negatively regulating Sox4. Therefore, the up-regulation of miR-363-3p in human CRC may have therapeutic benefits.

Keywords: Colorectal cancer; Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition; Metastasis; MiR-363-3p; Sox4.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement / genetics
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Down-Regulation
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition / genetics*
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Nude
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / genetics
  • SOXC Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • MIRN363 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs
  • SOX4 protein, human
  • SOXC Transcription Factors