Differential expression of miR16 in glioblastoma and glioblastoma stem cells: their correlation with proliferation, differentiation, metastasis and prognosis

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The function of miR16 in multiforme glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and its stem cells (GSCs) remains elusive. To this end, we investigated the patterns of miR16 expression in these cells and their correlation with malignant behaviors and clinical outcomes. The levels of miR16 and its targeted genes in tumor tissue of GBM and GBM SGH44, U87, U251 cells as well as their stem cell counterparts were measured by qRT-PCR or western blot or immunohistochemistry. Luciferase reporter assay was used to confirm the binding of miR16 to 3′-UTR of its target genes. The effects of miR16 on malignant behaviors were investigated, including tumor cell viability, soft-agar colony formation, GSCs Matrigel colony forming and migration and invasion as well as nude mice xenograft model. Differentially expression patterns of miR16 in glioblastoma cells and GSCs cells were found in this study. Changes of miR16 targeted genes, Bcl2 (B cell lymphoma 2), CDK6 (Cyclin-dependent kinase 6), CCND1 (cyclin D1), CCNE1 (cyclin E1) and SOX5 were confirmed in glioblastoma cell lines and tissue specimens. In vitro and in vivo studies showed that tumor cell proliferation was inhibited by miR16 mimic, but enhanced by miR16 inhibitor. The expression level of miR16 positively correlates with GSCs differentiation, but negatively with the abilities of migration, motility, invasion and colony formation in glioblastoma cells. The inhibitory effects of miR16 on its target genes were also found in nude mice xenograft model. Our findings revealed that the miR16 functions as a tumor suppressor in GSCs and its association with prognosis in GBM.

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