Accumulating evidence demonstrates that the long non-coding RNA Growth Arrest-Specific 5 (Gas5) has practical significance in cancer progression and metastasis. However, its role and function in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) remains unknown. In this study, we aimed to explore the potential involvement of Gas5 in papillary thyroid carcinogenesis and to highlight the emerging roles of ceRNAs in the biological regulation of PTC cells. The results suggested that Gas5 was markedly downregulated in both PTC tissues and PTC cell lines. Over-expression of Gas5 remarkably suppressed PTC cells proliferation in vitro and inhibited the growth of tumor cells in vivo likewise. Furthermore, Gas5 was identified as a target of miR-222-3p which was aberrantly high in PTC cells. Enhanced expression of miR-222-3p promoted the proliferation of PTC cells while knocking down miR-222-3p could inhibit it. The advanced effects of miR-222-3p on the proliferation of PTC cells could be partly reversed by the upregulation of Gas5 expression. Furthermore, we validated that Gas5 increased the protein level of the PTEN, one of miR-222-3p's targets, which further activated PTEN/AKT pathway. Taken together, our study identified a tumor suppressive role of Gas5 in PTC cells acting as a ceRNA, effectively becoming a sink for miR-222-3p, modulating the expression of PTEN, which lead to PTEN/AKT pathway activation and proliferation suppression. This finding may offer a new potential therapeutic strategy for PTC.
Zhang, X. F., Ye, Y., & Zhao, S. J. (2018). LncRNA Gas5 acts as a ceRNA to regulate PTEN expression by sponging miR-222-3p in papillary thyroid carcinoma. Oncotarget, 9(3), 3519–3530. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.23336