Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and aggressive form of astrocytoma among adult brain tumors. Multiple studies have shown that long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) play important roles in acting as molecular sponge for competing with microRNAs (miRNAs) to regulate downstream molecules in tumor progression. We previously reported that miR155 host gene (miR155HG), an lncRNA, and its derivative miR-155 promote epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in glioma. However, the other biological functions and mechanisms of miR155HG sponging miRNAs have been unknown. Considering ANXA2 has been generally accepted as oncogene overexpressed in a vast of cancers correlated with tumorigenesis, which might be the target molecule of miR155HG sponging miRNA via bioinformatics analysis. We designed this study to explore the interaction of miR155HG and ANXA2 to reveal the malignancy of them in GBM development. The expression of miR155HG was analyzed in three independent databases and clinical GBM specimens. Bioinformatics analysis was performed to assess the potential tumor-related functions of miR155HG. The interaction of miR155HG and miR-185 and the inhibition of ANXA2 by miR-185 were analyzed by luciferase reporter experiments, and biological effects in GBM were explored by colony formation assays, EDU cell proliferation assays, flow cytometric analysis and intracranial GBM mouse model. Changes in protein expression were analyzed using western blot. We examined the regulatory mechanism of ANXA2 on miR155HG in GBM by gene expression profiling analysis, double immunofluorescence staining, chromatin immunoprecipitation and luciferase reporter assays. We found that miR155HG was upregulated in GBM tissues and cell lines. Bioinformatic analyses of three GBM databases showed that miR155HG expression levels were closely associated with genes involved in cell proliferation and apoptosis. Knocking down miR155HG suppressed GBM cell proliferation in vitro, induced a G1/S-phase cell cycle arrest, and increased apoptosis. We also found that miR155HG functions as a competing endogenous RNA for miR-185. Moreover, miR-185 directly targets and inhibits ANXA2, which exhibits oncogenic functions in GBM. We also found that ANXA2 promoted miR155HG expression via STAT3 phosphorylation. Our results demonstrated that overexpressed miR155HG in GBM can sponge miR-185 to promote ANXA2 expression, and ANXA2 stimulates miR155HG level through phosphorylated STAT3 binding to the miR155HG promoter. We establish the miR155HG/miR185/ANXA2 loop as a mechanism that underlies the biological functions of miR155HG and ANXA2 in GBM and further suggest this loop may serve as a therapeutic target and/or prognostic biomarker for GBM.
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