MiR-124 governs glioma growth and angiogenesis and enhances chemosensitivity by targeting R-Ras and N-Ras.

PMID 24861879


Glioma is one of the most aggressive and lethal human brain tumors. Accumulating evidence shows that microRNAs play important roles in cancers, including glioma. Previous studies reported that miR-124 levels were downregulated in glioma specimens. Here, we further investigate the potential role of miR-124 in glioma. The expression levels of miR-124 were detected in glioma specimens by quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR. The direct targets of miR-124 were identified by bioinformatics analysis and were further validated by immunoblotting and luciferase reporter assay. The effects of miR-124 on glioma cell proliferation and chemosensitivity to temozolomide were analyzed by Cell-Counting Kit 8 assay. Apoptosis was evaluated by fluorescence activated cell sorting analysis. A xenograft model was used to study the effect of miR-124 on tumor growth and angiogenesis. Expression levels of miR-124 were greatly downregulated in glioma specimens. related Ras viral oncogene homolog (R-Ras) and neuroblastoma Ras viral oncogene homolog (N-Ras) were identified as direct targets of miR-124. MiR-124 inhibited glioma cell growth, invasion, angiogenesis, and tumor growth and increased chemosensitivity to temozolomide treatment by negatively regulating the Ras family and its downstream signaling pathways: phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase/Akt and Raf/extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2. Furthermore, overexpression of R-Ras rescued the inhibitory effects of miR-124. Meanwhile, overexpression of R-Ras and N-Ras restored miR-124-inhibited vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) transcription activation. In clinical glioma specimens, protein levels of R-Ras and N-Ras were upregulated and inversely correlated with miR-124 expression levels. Taken together, these results revealed that miR-124 levels in tumor tissues are associated with glioma occurrence, angiogenesis, and chemoresistance and that miR-124 may be used as a new diagnostic marker and therapeutic target for glioma in the future.