Micro-ribonucleic acids (miRNAs) are a class of conserved small non-coding RNAs (sncRNAs) that post-transcriptionally regulate their downstream target genes. Existing evidence indicates that abnormal expression of mRNAs results in the occurrence and development of pancreatic cancer (PC). In this study, we explored the potential role of miRNA-139 (miR-139) as a biomarker in the monitoring and treatment of PC. We demonstrated that expression of miR-139 was significantly downregulated in PC cells and tissues. In addition, both in vitro and in vivo experiments showed that miR-139 significantly inhibited the growth, migration, and invasion of PC cells. We carried out microarray analysis and transcriptome sequencing to find the potential target of miR-139 in PC cells, and the results showed that miR-139 targeted Ras-like proto-oncogene B (RalB). Luciferase reporter experiments verified that high level of RalB could reverse the proliferation and invasion of PC cells overexpressing miR-139. Using Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analyses, we found that miR-139 likely affected PC cell cycle by targeting RalB via the Ral/protein kinase B (Akt) serine/threonine kinase 1 (RAC)/phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway, thus affecting cell proliferation. This presumption was further confirmed in our in vitro and in vivo experiments. Our examination of PC tissues suggested that the expression of miR-139 was negatively correlated with that of RalB. Taken together, our results implied that miR-139 could suppress tumor growth and metastasis in PC by targeting RalB, revealing the potential role of miR-139 as a biomarker for the monitoring and treatment of PC.Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.
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