c-Myc suppresses microRNA-29b to promote tumor aggressiveness and poor outcomes in non-small cell lung cancer by targeting FHIT

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The dual role of the microRNA-29 (miR-29) family in tumor progression and metastasis in solid tumors has been reported. Evidence for the role of miR-29 in tumor malignancy and its prognostic value in overall survival (OS) and relapse-free survival (RFS) in nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remains conflicting. Mechanistic studies presented herein demonstrated that c-Myc suppressed the expression of miR-29b, promoting soft agar growth and invasion capability in lung cancer cells. Interestingly, the decrease in the expression of miR-29b by c-Myc is responsible for soft agar growth and invasiveness mediated by FHIT loss due to promoter methylation. Among patients, low expression of miR-29b and FHIT was more common in tumors with high c-Myc expression than in tumors with low c-Myc expression. Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analysis showed that tumors with high c-Myc, low miR-29b and low FHIT expression had shorter OS and RFS periods than their counterparts. In conclusion, the decrease in the expression of miR-29b by c-Myc may be responsible for FHIT loss-mediated tumor aggressiveness and for poor outcome in NSCLC. Therefore, we suggest that restoration of the miR-29b expression using the c-Myc inhibitor might be helpful in suppressing tumor aggressiveness mediated by FHIT loss and consequently improving outcomes in NSCLC patients with tumors with low expression of FHIT.

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