Colorectal liver metastasis (CRCLM) is the leading cause of death in patients with colorectal cancer (CRC). MiR-30b-5p can function as an oncogene or tumor suppressor in cancers, but its role in CRCLM is still unknown. Here, we found that miR-30b-5p overexpression suppressed the invasion, migration, adhesion, and motility of HCT116 and LoVo cells. The expression of EMT (Zeb1, Snail, and vimentin) and adhesion-related proteins (p-paxillin and p-Src) was decreased. We validated Rap1b, a Ras family small GTPase that regulates cell adhesion and mobility, as the direct and functional target of miR-30b-5p. Rap1b overexpression rescued the aggressive characteristics of CRC cells that were inhibited by miR-30b-5p. Rap1b knockdown suppressed invasion and migration and decreased CRC cell-matrix adhesion and spreading, which was consistent with the results of miR-30b-5p overexpression. Further in vivo experiments demonstrated that miR-30b-5p overexpression inhibited CRCLM, but Rap1b rescue attenuated the inhibitory effect of miR-30b-5p. In addition, miR-30b-5p was downregulated in CRC specimens, and Rap1b showed a negative correlation with miR-30b-5p expression in primary CRC and LM tissues. These results indicate that miR-30b-5p functions as a metastasis suppressor by targeting Rap1b and may provide a new target for the treatment of CRCLM.
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