MicroRNAs (miRNAs), which are endogenous short noncoding RNAs, can regulate genes involved in important biological and pathological functions. Therefore, dysregulation of miRNAs plays a critical role in cancer progression. However, whether the aberrant expression of miRNAs is regulated by oncogenes remains unclear. We previously demonstrated that a disintegrin and metalloprotease domain 9 (ADAM9) promotes lung metastasis by enhancing the expression of a pro-migratory protein, CUB domain containing protein 1 (CDCP1). In this study, we found that this process occurred via miR-1 down-regulation. miR-1 expression was down-regulated in lung tumors, but increased in ADAM9-knockdown lung cancer cells, and was negatively correlated with CDCP1 expression as well as the migration ability of lung cancer cells. Luciferase-based reporter assays showed that miR-1 directly bound to the 3'-untranslated region of CDCP1 and inhibited its translation. Treatment with a miR-1 inhibitor restored CDCP1 protein levels and enhanced tumor cell mobility. Overexpression of miR-1 decreased tumor metastases and increased the survival rate in mice. ADAM9 knockdown reduced EGFR signaling and increased miR-1 expression. These results revealed that ADAM9 down-regulates miR-1 via activating EGFR signaling pathways, which in turn enhances CDCP1 expression to promote lung cancer progression.
Keywords: ADAM9; CDCP1; EGFR; lung cancer; miR-1.