MiR-122 targets VEGFC in bladder cancer to inhibit tumor growth and angiogenesis

Am J Transl Res. 2016 Jul 15;8(7):3056-66. eCollection 2016.


Previous studies indicate that microRNA-122 (miR-122) is down-regulated in several cancer cells and regulates cell apoptosis, proliferation, metastasis, and tumor angiogenesis. However, the mount of miR-122 in bladder cancer and the pivotal molecular mechanisms of miR-122 used to regulate bladder carcinogenesis and angiogenesis remain to be clarified. Here, we reveal that miR-122 expression is down-regulated in human bladder cancer tissues and cell lines. MiR-122 represses vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGFC) post-transcriptional expression by directly binding to its 3'-UTR. The protein kinase B (AKT) and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), which are the most important downstream molecules of VEGFC, are also decreased in bladder cancer cell after miR-122 overexpression. Furthermore, miR-122 over-expression decreases bladder cancer cell migration, invasion, colony formation in vitro and slow bladder cancer growth and angiogenesis in vivo. Finally, miR-122 sensitizes bladder cancer cells to cisplatin-induced apoptosis. Taken together, these studies suggest that miR-122 serves as a tumor suppressor and down-regulating VEGFC expression, leading to the inhibition of bladder cancer growth and angiogenesis.

Keywords: MiR-122; VEGFC; angiogenesis; bladder cancer.