Original Article | Published:

miR-34a-5p suppresses colorectal cancer metastasis and predicts recurrence in patients with stage II/III colorectal cancer

Oncogene volume 34, pages 41424152 (30 July 2015) | Download Citation

Abstract

Although surgery remains the mainstay of curative treatment for colorectal cancer (CRC), many patients still have high chance to experience disease relapse. It is therefore imperative to identify prognostic markers that can help predict the clinical outcomes of CRC. Aberrant microRNA expression holds great potential as diagnostic and prognostic biomarker for CRC. Here we aimed to investigate clinical potential of miR-34a-5p as a prognostic marker for CRC recurrence and its functional significance. First, we validated that miR-34a-5p was downregulated in CRC tumour tissues (P<0.05). The expression level of tissue miR-34a-5p was then evaluated in two independent cohorts of 268 CRC patients. miR-34a-5p expression was positively correlated with disease-free survival in two independent cohorts (cohort I: n=205, P<0.001; cohort II: n=63, P=0.006). Moreover, the expression of miR-34a-5p was an independent prognostic factor for CRC recurrence by multivariate analysis (P<0.001 for cohort I, P=0.007 for cohort II). Ectopic expression of miR-34a-5p in p53 wild-type colon cancer cell HCT116 significantly inhibited cell growth, migration, invasion and metastasis. miR-34a-5p induced cell apoptosis, cell cycle arrest at G1 phase and p53 transcription activity in HCT116 cells, but not in the HCT116 p53 knockout (p53−/−) cells. miR-34a-5p significantly suppressed the HCT116 growth in vivo, whereas it showed no effect on the HCT116 p53−/− xenograft, indicating that the growth-inhibiting effect by miR-34a-5p was dependent on p53. In addition, the expression level of miR-34a-5p in patients with p53-positive expression was higher than that in patients with p53-negative expression (P<0.01). In conclusion, miR-34a-5p inhibits recurrence of CRC through inhibiting cell growth, migration and invasion, inducing cell apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in a p53-dependent manner.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81301853, 81072034), National High Technology Research and Development Program (No. 2012AA 02A 504, 2012AA 02A 506), Shenzhen Technology and Innovation Project Fund, Shenzhen (JSGG20130412171021059), China 863 program (2012AA02A506), Shenzhen Municipal Science and Technology R & D fund (JCYJ20120619152326450) and Shenzhen Virtual University Park Support Scheme to CUHK Shenzhen Research Institute.

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Author notes

    • J Gao
    •  & N Li

    These authors contributed equally to this work.

Affiliations

  1. Department of Gastrointestinal Oncology, Key laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Translational Research (Ministry of Education), Peking University Cancer Hospital & Institute, Beijing, China

    • J Gao
    • , N Li
    • , S Li
    • , Y Li
    •  & L Shen
  2. Institute of Digestive Disease, Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, State Key Laboratory of Digestive Disease, CUHK Shenzhen Research Institute, Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong

    • J Gao
    • , Y Dong
    • , L Xu
    • , X Li
    • , J J Sung
    •  & J Yu
  3. Department of Surgery, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong

    • Y Dong
    •  & S S Ng
  4. Department of Pathology, Key laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Translational Research (Ministry of Education), Peking University Cancer Hospital & Institute, Beijing, China

    • Z Li

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The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to L Shen or J Yu.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/onc.2014.348

Supplementary Information accompanies this paper on the Oncogene website (http://www.nature.com/onc)

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