miR-30a targets STOX2 to increase cell proliferation and metastasis in hydatidiform moles via ERK, AKT, and P38 signaling pathways


Abstract Background A hydatidiform mole is a condition caused by abnormal proliferation of trophoblastic cells. MicroRNA miR-30a acts as a tumor suppressor gene in most tumors and participates in the development of various cancers. However, its role in hydatidiform moles is not clear. Methods Quantitative real-time reverse transcription PCR was used to verify the expression level of miR-30a and STOX2 (encoding storkhead box 2). Flow cytometry assays were performed to detect the cell cycle in cell with different expression levels of miR-30a and STOX2. Cell Cycle Kit-8, 5-ethynyl-2′-deoxyuridine, and colony formation assays were used to detect cell proliferation and viability. Transwell assays was used to test cell invasion and migration. Dual-luciferase reporter assays and western blotting were used to investigate the potential mechanisms involved. Result Low miR-30a expression promoted the proliferation, migration, and invasion of trophoblastic cells (JAR and HTR-8). Dual luciferase assays confirmed that STOX2 is a target of miR-30a and resisted the effect of upregulated miR-30a in trophoblastic cells. In addition, downregulation of STOX2 by miR-30a could activate ERK, AKT, and P38 signaling pathways. These results revealed a new mechanism by which ERK, AKT, and P38 activation by miR-30a/STOX2 results in excessive proliferation of trophoblast cells in the hydatidiform mole. Conclusions In this study, we found that miR-30a plays an important role in the development of the hydatidiform mole. Our findings indicate that miR-30a might promote the malignant transformation of human trophoblastic cells by regulating STOX2, which strengthens our understanding of the role of miR-30a in regulating trophoblastic cell transformation.

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