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MiR-31 Regulates Rho-Associated Kinase-Myosin Light Chain (ROCK-MLC) Pathway and Inhibits Gastric Cancer Invasion: Roles of RhoA

Zhuo Chen, Shengnan Liu, Yuan Xia, Kejian Wu

(Xuzhou Medical College, Xuzhou, Jiangsu, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2016; 22:4679-4691

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.898399

BACKGROUND: This study evaluated how the expression of miR-31 can be used to detect gastric cancer (GC) to help illuminate the role of miR-31 and RhoA in GC cells.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We carried out our experiments using tissue specimens from 70 GC patients. The relative expression of miR-31 and RhoA mRNA in tissues and cells was detected by RT-PCR. The expression level of RhoA protein was detected by immunohistochemistry. GC cell line BGC-823 was transfected with six groups of vectors: blank group, NC (negative control) group, miR-31 mimics group, miR-31 mimics + RhoA group, miR-31 mimics + ROCK group, and miR-31 mimics + MLCK agonist group. AGS cells were also transfected with six groups of vectors: blank group, NC group, miR-31 inhibitor group, miR-31 inhibitor + RhoA siRNA group, miR-31 inhibitor + ROCK siRNA group, and miR-31 inhibitor + MLCK inhibitor group. Transwell assay was performed to detect the invasion and migration of cells. The protein expression in different transfected groups was detected using Western blotting.
RESULTS: GC tissues exhibited significantly lower levels of miR-31 expression compared to pericarcinous tissues (p<0.01). Moreover, a significantly higher expression of RhoA in GC tissues was observed (p<0.05). MiR-31 inhibited RhoA expression by binding to 3’UTR of mRNA, whereas miR-31 mimics significantly decreased the number of invaded and migrated cells (p<0.05). The activation of RhoA, ROCK, and phosphorylation of MLC remarkably exacerbate the invasion and migration ability of GC cells (p<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: We found miR-31 could downregulate the ROCK/MLC pathway by inhibiting the expression of RhoA in order to suppress the invasion and migration of GC cells.

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