Epigenetic modulation and repression of miR-200b by cancer-associated fibroblasts contribute to cancer invasion and peritoneal dissemination in gastric cancer.

PMID 25411357


Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) have recently been linked to the invasion and metastasis of gastric cancer. In addition, the microRNA (miR)-200 family plays a central role in the regulation of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition process during cancer metastasis, and aberrant DNA methylation is one of the key mechanisms underlying regulation of the miR-200 family. In this study, we clarified whether epigenetic changes of miR-200b by CAFs stimulate cancer invasion and peritoneal dissemination in gastric cancer. We evaluated the relationship between miR-200b and CAFs using a coculture model. In addition, we established a peritoneal metastasis mouse model and investigated the expression and methylation status of miR-200b. We also investigated the expression and methylation status of miR-200b and CAFs expression in primary gastric cancer samples. CAFs (CAF-37 and CAF-50) contributed to epigenetic changes of miR-200b, reduced miR-200b expression and promoted tumor invasion and migration in NUGC3 and OCUM-2M cells in coculture. In the model mice, epigenetic changes of miR-200b were observed in the inoculated high-frequency peritoneal dissemination cells. In the 173 gastric cancer samples, the low miR-200b expression group demonstrated a significantly poorer prognosis compared with the high miR-200b expression group and was associated with peritoneal metastasis. In addition, downregulation of miR-200b in cancer cells was significantly correlated with alpha-smooth muscle actin expression. Our data provide evidence that CAFs reduce miR-200b expression and promote tumor invasion through epigenetic changes of miR-200b in gastric cancer. Thus, CAFs might be a therapeutic target for inhibition of gastric cancer.