Molecular medicine reports

ROCK1, a novel target of miR-145, promotes glioma cell invasion.

PMID 24573110


Malignant glioma is the most common type of cancer in the central nervous system, with highly invasive characteristics. The Rho-associated protein kinase (ROCK1) has been found to act as key regulator of actin cytoskeleton reorganization, a process closely associated with cancer cell invasion. microRNA-145 (miRNA-145) has been recently shown to act as a suppressor in several types of tumor, including glioma. However, the exact regulatory mechanism by which miR-145 inhibits glioma still remains to be uncovered. In this study, we report that the miR-145 level was significantly reduced in glioma tissues and in the human glioma cell lines U87 and U251, as compared to matched adjacent and normal brain tissues. We then identified the ROCK1 gene as a novel target of miR-145. The expression of ROCK1 was markedly upregulated in glioma tissues, as well as in U87 and U251 cells. Moreover, miR-145 significantly inhibited ROCK1 protein expression in U87 cells. We further show that miR-145 transfection considerably reduced the invasive ability of U87 cells, and was accompanied by the downregulation of matrix metalloproteinasexa02 and 9, an effect which could be attenuated by overexpression of ROCK1. In conclusion, the present study suggests that miR-145 can inhibit U87 glioma cell invasion, at least partially via downregulation of the RhoA/ROCK1 pathway. In conclusion, this is the first study to report that ROCK1, as a novel target of miR-145, acts as a positive regulator of glioma cell invasion. Therefore, ROCK1 may constitute a promising target for glioma treatment.