Deoxycholic acid modulates the progression of gallbladder cancer through N 6-methyladenosine-dependent microRNA maturation

Oncogene. 2020 Jun;39(26):4983-5000. doi: 10.1038/s41388-020-1349-6. Epub 2020 Jun 8.


Bile acids (BAs), well-defined signaling molecules with diverse metabolic functions, play important roles in cellular processes associated with many cancers. As one of the most common BAs, deoxycholic acid (DCA) is originally synthesized in the liver, stored in the gallbladder, and processed in the gut. DCA plays crucial roles in various tumors; however, functions and molecular mechanisms of DCA in gallbladder cancer (GBC) still remain poorly characterized. Here, we analyzed human GBC samples and found that DCA was significantly downregulated in GBC, and reduced levels of DCA was associated with poor clinical outcome in patients with GBC. DCA treatment impeded tumor progression by halting cell proliferation. DCA decreased miR-92b-3p expression in an m6A-dependent posttranscriptional modification manner by facilitating dissociation of METTL3 from METTL3-METTL14-WTAP complex, which increased the protein level of the phosphatase and tensin homolog, a newly identified target of miR-92b-3p, and subsequently inactivated the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway. Our findings revealed that DCA might function as a tumor suppressive factor in GBC at least by interfering with miR-92b-3p maturation, and suggested that DCA treatment could provide a new therapeutic strategy for GBC.