Oncogenic miR-20a and miR-106a enhance the invasiveness of human glioma stem cells by directly targeting TIMP-2.

PMID 24704830


Emerging evidence has shown that cancer stem cells (CSCs) are the cellular determinants to promote cancer invasion and metastasis. However, the mechanism underlying CSC invasion remains unknown. MicroRNAs are evolutionally conserved small noncoding RNAs that are critical for the regulation of gene expression, and their expressions are often dysregulated in cancers. In the present study, we demonstrated that two functionally related microRNAs, miR-20a and -106a (miR-20a/106a), were capable of enhancing the invasiveness of CD133(+) glioma stem cells (GSCs) isolated from both glioblastoma cell line U87 and primary human glioma specimens. We found that the level of miR-20a/106a in GSCs was significantly higher than that in the committed CD133(-) glioma cells, and correlated with the invasive capability of GSCs. By bioinformatic analysis, we identified tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-2 (TIMP-2) as one of the miR-20a/106a-targeted genes. TIMP-2 level correlated inversely with miR-20/106 expression. Directly targeting by miR-20a/106a on 3'-untranslation region (3'-UTR) of TIMP-2 mRNA was confirmed by 3'-UTR dual-luciferase reporter assay. Knockdown of miR-20a/106a in GSCs increased endogenous TIMP-2 protein abundance, thereby inhibiting GSC invasion. We also found that Nordy, a synthetic lipoxygenase inhibitor, inhibited GSC invasiveness by elevating the expression of TIMP-2 via downregulation of miR-20a/106a. Our results indicate that miR-20a/106a has a key role in GSC invasion and may serve as targets for treatment of glioblastoma.