Research Article

miR-124 radiosensitizes human esophageal cancer cell TE-1 by targeting CDK4

Published: June 03, 2016
Genet. Mol. Res. 15(2): gmr7893 DOI: 10.4238/gmr.15027893

Abstract

Radiotherapy is one of the most important treatments for esophageal cancer, but radioresistance remains a major challenge. Previous studies have shown that microRNAs (miRNAs or miRs) are involved in human cancers. miR-124 has been widely reported in various cancers and it is intimately involved in proliferation, cell cycle regulation, apoptosis, migration, and invasion of cancer cells. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between the miR-124/cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4) axis and the radiosensitivity of esophageal cancer cells. In this study, we identified the reduced expression of miR-124 in 18 paired esophageal cancer tissues compared to their matched normal tissues. In order to investigate the physiological role of miR-124 in esophageal cancer, the cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) assay and wound healing assay were performed, and the results suggest that miR-124 overexpression decreases tumor growth and aggression. Next, we detected the effects of ectopic miR-124 expression on the apoptosis of an esophageal cancer cell line (TE-1) following radiotherapy. Using the CCK-8 assay and Hoechst 332528 stain, we found that ectopic expression of miR-124 led to a higher percentage of apoptotic cells. Finally, we identified that CDK4 is a direct target of miR-124 in TE-1 cells using target prediction algorithms and a luciferase reporter assay. Moreover, western blot assay confirmed that CDK4 was downregulated during miR-124 transfection. Taken together, we illustrate that the miR-124/CDK4 axis plays an important role in radiation sensitivity of human esophageal cancer cells by targeting CDK4.

Radiotherapy is one of the most important treatments for esophageal cancer, but radioresistance remains a major challenge. Previous studies have shown that microRNAs (miRNAs or miRs) are involved in human cancers. miR-124 has been widely reported in various cancers and it is intimately involved in proliferation, cell cycle regulation, apoptosis, migration, and invasion of cancer cells. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between the miR-124/cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (CDK4) axis and the radiosensitivity of esophageal cancer cells. In this study, we identified the reduced expression of miR-124 in 18 paired esophageal cancer tissues compared to their matched normal tissues. In order to investigate the physiological role of miR-124 in esophageal cancer, the cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) assay and wound healing assay were performed, and the results suggest that miR-124 overexpression decreases tumor growth and aggression. Next, we detected the effects of ectopic miR-124 expression on the apoptosis of an esophageal cancer cell line (TE-1) following radiotherapy. Using the CCK-8 assay and Hoechst 332528 stain, we found that ectopic expression of miR-124 led to a higher percentage of apoptotic cells. Finally, we identified that CDK4 is a direct target of miR-124 in TE-1 cells using target prediction algorithms and a luciferase reporter assay. Moreover, western blot assay confirmed that CDK4 was downregulated during miR-124 transfection. Taken together, we illustrate that the miR-124/CDK4 axis plays an important role in radiation sensitivity of human esophageal cancer cells by targeting CDK4.