miR-516a-3p has been reported to play a suppressive role in several types of human tumours. However, the expression level, biological function and fundamental mechanisms of miR-516a-3p in breast cancer remain unclear. In the present study, we found that miR-516a-3p expression was down-regulated and Pygopus2 (Pygo2) expression was up-regulated in human breast cancer tissues and cells. Through analysing the clinicopathological characteristics, we demonstrated that low miR-516a-3p expression or positive Pygo2 expression was a predictor of poor prognosis for patients with breast cancer. The results of a dual luciferase reporter assay and Western blot analysis indicated that Pygo2 was a target gene of miR-516a-3p. Moreover, overexpression of miR-516a-3p inhibited cell growth, migration and invasion as well as epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of breast cancer cells, whereas reduced miR-516a-3p expression promoted breast cancer cell growth, migration, invasion and EMT. Furthermore, we showed that miR-516a-3p suppressed cell proliferation, metastasis and EMT of breast cancer cells by inhibiting Pygo2 expression. We confirmed that miR-516a-3p exerted an anti-tumour effect by inhibiting the activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. Finally, xenograft tumour models were used to show that miR-516a-3p inhibited breast cancer cell growth and EMT via suppressing the Pygo2/Wnt signalling pathway. Taken together, these results show that miR-516a-3p inhibits breast cancer cell growth, metastasis and EMT by blocking the Pygo2/ Wnt/β-catenin pathway.
Keywords: Pygo2; Wnt; breast cancer; epithelial-mesenchymal transition; miR-516a-3p.
© 2019 The Authors. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Foundation for Cellular and Molecular Medicine.