Interleukin-17A promotes tongue squamous cell carcinoma metastasis through activating miR-23b/versican pathway.

PMID 28035060


Interleukin-17A (IL-17A), a proinflammatory cytokine mainly produced by T helper 17 cells, exerts protumor or antitumor effects in different cancer entities. However, the exact role of IL-17A in carcinogenesis and progression of tongue squamous cell carcinoma (TSCC) remains unclear. Here, we found that the levels of IL-17A in serum and tumor samples were significantly increased in TSCC patients and positively correlated with tumor metastasis and clinical stage. Besides, IL-17A enhanced cell migration and invasion in SCC15, a TSCC cell line. Furthermore, IL-17A inversely correlated with miR-23b expression in TSCC specimens. In vitro, NF-κB inhibited miR-23b transcription by directly binding to its promoter region. IL-17A downregulated miR-23b expression via activating NF-κB signaling pathway characterized by increasing p65 expression in the nuclear and elevating the levels of p-IKKα and p-IκBα. Overexpression of miR-23b inhibited, whereas knockdown of miR-23b promoted migration and invasion abilities of SCC15 cells. Moreover, extracellular matrix protein versican was proved to be the direct target of miR-23b through luciferase assay. IL-17A increased versican levels in vitro and knockdown of versican by siRNA inhibited SCC15 cell migration and invasion. Taken together, these results reveal a novel mechanism that IL-17A in TSCC microenvironment promotes the migration and invasion of TSCC cells through targeting miR-23b/versican pathway.