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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

Upregulation of Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 Receptor (IGF-1R) Reverses the Inhibitory Effect of Let-7g-5p on Migration and Invasion of Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

Zhecheng Zhao, Jianxue Wen, Lihua Peng, Hanbo Liu

Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Zhuzhou Central Hospital, Zhuzhou, Hunan, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2019; 25:5747-5756

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.914555

Available online:

Published: 2019-08-02


BACKGROUND: Let-7 microRNAs (miRNAs) have the effects of inhibiting tumor growth and metastasis, however, the research in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is limited. This study focused on the effects of Let-7 on NPC migration and invasion and the mechanism of action.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Plasmid transfection was used to upregulate the expression levels of Let-7g-5p and insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R). Cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) assay was applied to test the cell viability. Scratch assay and Transwell assay were performed to detect the migration and invasion abilities. Bioinformatics prediction and luciferase reporter assay were used to determine and verify the downstream target genes for Let-7g-5p. Protein and mRNA were detected by western blot and real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), respectively.
RESULTS: Let-7g-5p was under-expressed in human NPC cells. Overexpression of Let-7g-5p could inhibit cell viability and inhibit the migration and invasion of SUNE1 cells. The dual-luciferase reporter assay showed that IGF-1R was a direct target gene of Let-7g-5p, which was directly regulated IGF-1R expression by 3’UTR. Let-7g-5p overexpression could inhibit the expression of IGF-1R gene, and upregulation of IGF-1R gene expression reversed the inhibitory effect of Let-7g-5p on cell viability and epithelial-mesenchymal transition processes.
CONCLUSIONS: Let-7g-5p is lowly expressed in NPC and it was the first to discover that IGF-1R was a target gene of let-7g-5p in NPC. Upregulation of IGF-1R reversed the inhibitory effect of Let-7g-5p on epithelial-mesenchymal transition.

Keywords: Epithelial-mesenchymal transition, MicroRNAs, Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms, Receptor, IGF Type 1