Silencing of LINC01116 suppresses the development of oral squamous cell carcinoma by up-regulating microRNA-136 to inhibit FN1

Cancer Manag Res. 2019 Jul 3;11:6043-6059. doi: 10.2147/CMAR.S197583. eCollection 2019.


Background: Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), one of the most common cancers worldwide with a high mortality rate, is accompanied by poor prognosis, highlighting the significance of early diagnosis and effective treatment. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been linked with the development and progression of various cancers. In this study, aberrantly expressed lncRNA LINC01116, microRNA-136 (miR-136), and fibronectin1 (FN1) were identified in OSCC using a microarray analysis. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the role of LINC01116/miR-136/FN1 regulatory axis in OSCC.

Methods: The gain-of-function and loss-of-function experiments in vitro were performed to alter the expression of LINC01116 and miR-136 in OSCC cells to elucidate their effects on cellular processes, including epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), viability, invasion, and migration. In addition, the interaction among LINC01116, miR-136, and FN1 was identified. Additionally, the tumorigenicity and lymph node metastasis (LNM) affected by LINC01116 were observed through xenograft tumor in nude mice.

Results: LINC01116 and FN1 were abundant in both OSCC tissues and cells, while miR-136 was poorly expressed. LINC01116 could competitively bind to miR-136, which targets and negatively regulates FN1. Moreover, in response to LINC01116 silencing or miR-136 over-expression, OSCC cells exhibited diminished EMT process and inhibited cell viability, invasion, and migration in vitro, coupling with impaired tumorigenicity and LNM in vivo.

Conclusion: The fundamental findings in this study collectively demonstrate that LINC01116 silencing may inhibit the progression of OSCC via the miR-136-mediated FN1 inhibition, highlighting a promising therapeutic strategy for OSCC treatment.

Keywords: epithelial–mesenchymal transition; fibronectin 1; long non-coding RNA LINC01116; lymph node metastasis; microRNA-136; oral squamous cell carcinoma.