Journal of gastroenterology

miR-874 Inhibits cell proliferation, migration and invasion through targeting aquaporin-3 in gastric cancer.

PMID 23800944


Aquaporin-3 (AQP3) is a water transporting protein which plays an oncogenic role in several malignant tumors. However, its regulatory mechanism remains elusive to date. In this study, we investigated the microRNA-mediated gene repression mechanism involved in AQP3's role. The potential microRNAs targeting AQP3 were searched via bioinformatic methods and identified by luciferase reporter assays, microRNA RT-PCR and western blotting. The expression patterns of miR-874 and AQP3 in human gastric cancer (GC) specimens and cell lines were determined by microRNA RT-PCR and western blotting. 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine, cell migration and invasion assays and tumorigenicity in vivo were adopted to observe the effects of miR-874 depletion or ectopic miR-874 expression on GC cell phenotypes. Cell apoptosis was evaluated by FACS and TUNEL in vitro and in vivo respectively. miR-874 suppressed AQP3 expression by binding to the 3'UTR of AQP3 mRNA in GC cells. miR-874 was significantly down-regulated and reversely correlated with AQP3 protein levels in clinical samples. Analysis of the clinicopathological significance showed that miR-874 and AQP3 were closely correlated with GC characteristics. Functional analyses indicated that ectopic miR-874 expression suppressed the growth, migration, invasion and tumorigenicity of GC cells, whereas miR-874 knockdown promoted these phenotypes. Down-regulation of Bcl-2, MT1-MMP, MMP-2 and MMP-9 and upregulation of caspase-3 activity and Bax were involved in miR-874 inducing cell apoptosis, and inhibiting migration and invasion. These results provide a mechanism by which AQP3 is upregulated, as well as highlight the importance of miR-874 in gastric cancer development and progression.