The microRNA-200 family acts as an oncogene in colorectal cancer by inhibiting the tumor suppressor RASSF2

Oncol Lett. 2019 Oct;18(4):3994-4007. doi: 10.3892/ol.2019.10753. Epub 2019 Aug 16.


This study aimed to determine whether manipulation of the microRNA-200 (miR-200) family could influence colon adenocarcinoma cell behavior. The miR-200 family has a significant role in tumor suppression and functions as an oncogene. In vitro studies on gain and loss of function with small interfering RNA demonstrated that the miR-200 family could regulate RASSF2 expression. Knockdown of the miR-200 family in the HT-29 colon cancer cell line increased KRAS expression but decreased signaling in the MAPK/ERK signaling pathway through reduced ERK phosphorylation. Increased expression of the miR-200 family in the CCD-841 colon epithelium cell line increased KRAS expression and led to increased signaling in the MAPK/ERK signaling pathway but increased ERK phosphorylation. Functionally, knockdown of the miR-200 family led to decreased cell proliferation in the HT-29 cells; therefore, increased miR-200 family expression could increase cell proliferation in the CCD-841 cell line. The present study included a large paired miR array dataset (n=632), in which the miR-200 family was significantly found to be increased in colon cancer when compared with normal adjacent colon epithelium. In a miR-seq dataset (n=199), the study found that miR-200 family expression was increased in localized colon cancer compared with metastatic disease. Decreased expression was associated with poorer overall survival. The miR-200 family directly targeted RASSF2 and was inversely correlated with RASSF2 expression (n=199, all P<0.001). Despite the well-defined role of the miR-200 family in tumor suppression, the present findings demonstrated a novel function of the miR-200 family in tumor proliferation.

Keywords: MAPK pathway; Ras association domain family member 2; colorectal cancer; microRNA-200 family; oncogene.