MicroRNA-99a/100 promotes apoptosis by targeting mTOR in human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma
- First Online:
- 978 Downloads
Recently, microRNA-99 family members, such as miR-99a/b and miR-100, have been reported to exhibit abnormal expression in various malignant tumors, but their functions in carcinomas are controversial. In this study, we focused on miR-99a and miR-100, which were determined to be universally downregulated in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, and investigated their functions and potential mechanisms of action. The downregulation of miR-99a/100 was validated by qRT-PCR in 101 ESCC surgical tissue samples and in 3 ESCC cell lines. The overexpression of miR-99a and miR-100 via the transient transfection of the corresponding precursor molecules inhibited cell proliferation by inducing apoptosis in the ESCC cell lines. To investigate the molecular mechanism of miR-99a/100-induced apoptosis, luciferase reporter assays and Western blots were performed to demonstrate that the overexpression of miR-99a/100 suppressed the expression of mTOR by directly targeting its 3′UTR in a post-transcriptional manner. Clinically, the decreased expression of miR-99a/100 was associated with worse overall survival in ESCC patients. In conclusion, these results indicated that miR-99a and miR-100 inhibited cell proliferation by suppressing mTOR in ESCC cell lines, and therefore, the miR-99a/100-mTOR signaling pathway is a potential therapeutic target for inducing apoptosis to combat ESCC.