Image_2_miR-146a Overexpression in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma Potentiates Cancer Cell Migration and Invasion Possibly via Targeting HTT.jpeg
Huntingtin (HTT) is one of the target genes of miR-146-a and regulates various cancer cell activities. This study aims to explore the miR-146a expression pattern in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) and its role and mechanism in OSCC progression and metastasis via targeting the HTT gene. OSCC tissue and non-cancerous matched tissue (NCMT) were obtained from 14 patients. OSCC cell lines and normal HOK cells were used to analyze migration and invasion assay. OSCC-induced miR-146a knockout mice (B6.Cg-Mir146tm1.1Bal) model was developed. Transwell cell migration/invasion and scratch wound assays were used to investigate the OSCC cell migration and invasion in vitro. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis was used to investigate the association of HTT expression patterns in cancer tissue with patient survival percentage and duration. Pearson’s correlation analysis tested the association between miR-146a and HTT expression in OSCC tissues. miR-146a mimic and inhibitor transfection were performed to overexpress and knockdown the miR-146a in OSCC cells, respectively. miR-146a expression was highly upregulated in OSCC tissues and OSCC cell lines. Cancer cell migration/invasion was enhanced in miR-146a overexpressed cells and reduced in mi-R146a knockdowned cells. HTT expression was reduced in OSCC tissues and cell lines compared to NCMT and HOK cells, respectively. HTT expression was downregulated in miR-146a overexpressed OSCC cells and upregulated in miR-146a knockdowned OSCC cells. The expression pattern of miR-146a in OSCC cell lines and tissues was inversely correlated with HTT expression. Prediction of miRNA target analysis showed that HTT possesses the binding sites for miR-146a. HTT overexpression in OSCC tissues was associated with patients’ higher survival percentage and duration. HTT knockdown in OSCC cells enhanced miR-146a expression and cell migration/invasion. Inducing OSCC in miR-146a knockout mice increased the HTT expression in tongue tissue and alleviated the cancer aggressiveness and epithelial damage. Overexpressed miR-146a in OSCC targets the HTT gene and enhances cancer cell migration/invasion unraveling the possible role of HTT in miR146a-mediated OSCC cell migration and invasion.
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