miR-503 expression is downregulated in cervical cancer and suppresses tumor growth by targeting AKT2

J Cell Biochem. 2019 Jan 29. doi: 10.1002/jcb.28099. Online ahead of print.


Previous studies have reported that microRNAs function as key regulators in tumor development and progression. This study aims to investigate the functional effects of miR-503 expression in cervical cancer (CC) progression. We detected the expression of miR-503 in CC tissues and cell lines using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Synthesized miR-503 mimics or inhibitors were used to upregulate or downregulate the expression of miR-503 in HeLa or SiHa cells. Cell Counting Kit-8 and colony formation assay were used to detect the ability of cell proliferation. Furthermore, luciferase assay and Western blot were applied to confirm the target of miR-503 in CC cells. Here, we demonstrated that miR-503 expression was significantly downregulated in CC tissues, compared with adjacent normal tissues. miR-503 expression was significantly associated with tumor size and International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics stage. Furthermore, increasing miR-503 expression in CC cells dramatically inhibited cell proliferation, colony formation ability of CC. However, reducing miR-503 had reverse effects on these malignant behaviors. Moreover, we demonstrated that miR-503 inhibited cell proliferation by targeting AKT2 3'-untranslated region and affected its expression. Overexpression of AKT2 rescued the effects induced by miR-503 on cell proliferation. Therefore, our results indicated that miR-503 may serve as a tumor suppressor in CC and provide a potential value for CC treatment.

Keywords: AKT2; cell proliferation; cervical cancer; miR-503; microRNAs.