This article is free to access.
Background: Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC) is a common type of skin malignancy. MicroRNA-221 (miRNA-221) is a critical non-coding RNA in tumor initiation and progression. However, the molecular mechanisms of miRNA-221 in the development of CSCC remain unknown. This study investigated the expression of miRNA-221 in CSCC and its potential tumor biological functions. Methods: MTT assay, colony assay, PCR, and Western blot were adopted. Results: In this study, miRNA-221 expression was significantly higher in CSCC tissues and cell lines than in normal tissues and cells (P < 0.05). Further functional experiments indicated that miRNA-221 knockdown inhibited the proliferation and cell cycle, while upregulation of miRNA-221 presented the opposite role. The dual reporter gene assays indicated that PTEN is a direct target gene of miRNA-221. PTEN protein or mRNA levels were decreased after the cells were transfected with miR-221 mimics. Conclusions: Taken together, the obtained results indicated that miR-221 plays an oncogenic function in CSCC by targeting PTEN and further suggest that miR-221 may be a potential target for CSCC diagnosis and treatment.
Gong, Z. H., Zhou, F., Shi, C., Xiang, T., Zhou, C. K., Wang, Q. Q., … Gao, S. F. (2019). miRNA-221 promotes cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma progression by targeting PTEN. Cellular and Molecular Biology Letters, 24(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s11658-018-0131-z