Convincing data has suggested that four and a half LIM domain 2 protein (FHL2) serves a key function in cancer cell metastasis and that microRNA (miR)-340-5p can regulate cancer cell migration. The current study hypothesized that targeting FHL2 expression by miR-340-5p in colon cancer may attenuate colon cancer cell migration and invasion. FHL2 expression was therefore assessed in colon cancer microarray datasets using Qlucore omics explorer as well as in HT-29 and AZ-97 colon cancer cell lines via reverse transcription-quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR). Colon cancer cell migration and invasion were evaluated in the presence of miR-340-5p mimic, mimic control or mimic with a target site blocker. Confocal microscopy and RT-qPCR were subsequently performed to assess FHL2, E-cadherin (E-cad) protein and mRNA expression in colon cancer cells. Microarray dataset analysis revealed that FHL2 expression was lower in primary colon cancer cells compared with normal colonic mucosa. It was revealed that the expression of miR-340-5p and FHL2 were inversely related in serum-grown and low-serum conditions in HT-29 and AZ-97 cells. Short-time serum exposure to low-serum grown cells induced FHL2 expression. Transfection of HT-29 cells with miR-340-5p mimic not only decreased serum-induced expression of FHL2 but also decreased cancer cell migration and invasion. Bioinformatics analysis revealed that FHL2 mRNA had one putative binding site for miR-340-5p at the 3-untranslated region. Blocking of the target site using a specific blocker reverted miR-340-5p mimic-induced inhibition of FHL2 expression and cancer cell migration and invasion. Confocal microscopy confirmed that the reduction of FHL2 expression by miR-340-5p mimic also reversed serum-induced E-cad disruption and that the target site blocker abrogated the effect of miR-340-5p. The current results suggested that miR-340-5p could be used to antagonize colon cancer cell metastasis by targeting the FHL2-E-cad axis.
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- Cancer och onkologi