Extensive investigations have shown that miRNAs are important regulators of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), mainly targeting the transcriptional repressors of E-cadherin (E-cad). Less is known about the post-transcriptional regulation of vimentin or N-cadherin (N-cad) in EMT. Our previous study identified miR-506 as a key EMT inhibitor through directly targeting the E-cad transcriptional repressor SNAI2. In this study, we provide evidence that miR-506 simultaneously suppresses vimentin and N-cad. The knockdown of vimentin using siRNA reversed EMT, suppressed cell migration and invasion, and increased E-cad expression on the cell membrane in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) cells. In a set of tissue microarrays that included 204 EOCs of all major subtypes (eg serous, endometrioid, clear cell, and mucinous), miR-506 was positively correlated with E-cad and negatively correlated with vimentin and N-cad in all subtypes of EOC. A high level of miR-506 was positively associated with early FIGO stage and longer survival in EOC. Introduction of miR-506, mediated by nanoparticle delivery, in EOC orthotopic mouse models resulted in decreased vimentin, N-cad, and SNAI2 expression and increased E-cad expression; it also suppressed the dissemination of EOC cells. Thus, miR-506 represents a new class of miRNA that regulates both E-cad and vimentin/N-cad in the suppression of EMT and metastasis.
- Epithelial ovarian cancer
- Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine