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Epigenetic silencing of miR-126 contributes to tumor invasion and angiogenesis in colorectal cancer

Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Gastroenterology, Department of Gastroenterology, Nangfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510515, P.R. China.
Oncology Reports (Impact Factor: 2.19). 07/2013; 30(4). DOI: 10.3892/or.2013.2633
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT microRNAs (miRNAs) have been reported to play a crucial role in regulating a variety of genes pivotal for tumor metastasis. miR-126 is well known as one of the angiogenesis regulatory miRNAs. Recent studies have reported controversial roles of miR-126 in tumor progression. In this study, we sought to investigate the potential roles of miR-126 in colorectal cancer (CRC). By real-time PCR, miR-126 was shown to be downregulated in primary CRC tissues and cell lines. Restoration of miR-126 in CRC cells inhibited cell growth, migration and invasion. Using both in silico prediction and immunoblotting, we found that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was a target of miR-126. The interaction of miR-126 on the 3'UTR of VEGF mRNA was validated by luciferase reporter assay. Mechanistically, we found that the silencing of miR-126 was induced by promoter methyl-ation of its host gene, EGFL7. Treatment with 5-aza-CdR restored miR-126 expression and thereby led to a decline in VEGF expression. Functionally, due to suppression of VEGF, enhanced miR-126 expression inhibited tumor neovasculature triggered by CRC cells. In conclusion, our findings suggest that DNA methylation-induced silencing of miR-126 contributes, at least in part, to tumor invasion and angiogenesis in CRC, through upregulation of VEGF expression. miR-126 may be a potential target for the therapeutic strategy against CRC.

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