TEAD1/4 exerts oncogenic role and is negatively regulated by miR-4269 in gastric tumorigenesis
TEA domain (TEAD) transcription factors are key components of the Hippo-YAP1 signaling pathway, but their functional role and regulatory mechanisms remain unclear. This study aims to comprehensively explore the expression pattern and functional role of TEAD family in gastric carcinogenesis and investigate its regulation by microRNAs (miRNAs). The mRNA and protein expression of TEAD family were examined by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) and western blot. Their functional roles were determined by in vitro and in vivo studies. The clinicopathological association of TEAD4 in gastric cancer (GC) was studied using immunohistochemistry on tissue microarray. The prediction of miRNAs, which potentially target TEAD1/4, was performed by TargetScan and miRDB. The regulation of TEAD1/4 by miRNAs was confirmed by qRT-PCR, western blot and luciferase assays. TEAD1/4 were overexpressed in GC cell lines and primary GC tissues. Knockdown of TEAD1/4 induced a significant anticancer effect in vitro and in vivo. TEAD1 was confirmed to be a direct target of miR-377-3p and miR-4269, while TEAD4 was negatively regulated by miR-1343-3p and miR-4269. Among them, miR-4269 was the most effective inhibitor of TEAD1/4. Ectopic expression of these miRNAs substantiated their tumor-suppressive effects. In primary GC tumors, downregulation of miR-4269 was associated with poor disease-specific survival and showed a negative correlation with TEAD4. TEAD1 and TEAD4 are oncogenic factors, whose aberrant activation are, in part, mediated by the silence of miR-377-3p, miR-1343-3p and miR-4269. For the first time, the nuclear accumulated TEAD4 and downregulated miR-4269 are proposed to serve as novel prognostic biomarkers in GC.