Research Papers:

Up-regulation of matrix metalloproteinases in a mouse model of chemically induced colitis-associated cancer: the role of microRNAs

Feiyan Ai _, Xuemei Zhang, Xiayu Li, Zailong Qin, Qiurong Ye, Li Tian, Anliu Tang, Nan Li, Guiyuan Li, Jian Ma and Shourong Shen

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:5412-5425. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.3027

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Feiyan Ai1,2, Xuemei Zhang1,2, Xiayu Li1,2, Zailong Qin3, Qiurong Ye3, Li Tian1,2, Anliu Tang1,2, Nan Li1,2, Guiyuan Li2,3, Jian Ma2,3, Shourong Shen1,2

1Department of Gastroenterology, The Third Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China

2Hunan Key Laboratory of Nonresolving Inflammation and Cancer, Changsha, Hunan, China

3Hunan Cancer Hospital and the Affiliated Cancer Hospital of Xiangya School of Medicine, Cancer Research Institute, Central South University, Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis, Ministry of Health, Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Cancer Invasion, Ministry of Education, Changsha, Hunan, China

Correspondence to:

Jian Ma, e-mail: [email protected]

Shourong Shen, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: colitis-associated cancer, Dicer1, matrix metalloproteinases, microRNAs, non-resolving inflammation

Received: October 10, 2014     Accepted: January 01, 2015     Published: January 23, 2015


Emerging evidence has implicated microRNAs in regulating the production of multiple inflammatory mediators including cytokines and chemokines. We previously elucidated the dynamic activation of key signals that link colitis to colorectal cancer. In this study, we observed a sharp increase in the levels of matrix metalloproteinases (Mmps) that provided a basis for the inflammation-cancer link, and we questioned whether this was a consequence of the dysregulation of Mmp-specific microRNAs, at least partly. We assayed a panel of murine microRNAs that were predicted to target Mmps and found they were downregulated in the inflammation-cancer link. Furthermore, we demonstrated that three murine microRNAs, namely miR-128, -134, and -330, can target the three Mmps Mmp3, Mmp10, and Mmp13, respectively. We also found that the level of the microRNA-processing enzyme Dicer1 was decreased in the inflammation-cancer link. These microRNAs functioned as tumor suppressors in colon cancer cells, attenuating the proliferation, migration, and invasion potential of murine colon cancer cells as well as angiogenesis and the growth of tumors derived from these cells. Our results suggest that microRNAs modulate the production of key inflammatory mediators and that microRNA dysfunction may contribute to the non-resolving inflammation associated with cancer.

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