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J Oral Pathol Med. 2016 Apr;45(4):248-55. doi: 10.1111/jop.12351. Epub 2015 Aug 26.

MicroRNA-155-5p is associated with oral squamous cell carcinoma metastasis and poor prognosis.

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Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Clinical Sciences, Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.
Cardiovascular Division, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.



Abnormal miRNA expression was recently implicated in the metastasis of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) and with a poor prognosis. The initiation of the invasion-metastasis cascade involves epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Our aim was to clarify how miRNA, especially miR-155-5p misexpression contributes to OSCC metastasis through EMT.


We collected tumor samples from 73 subjects with OSCC. The samples were analyzed by quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), and correlations between miR-155-5p levels and clinical characteristics were investigated. OSCC cell lines were analyzed by miRNA microarray and by transfection with a miR-155-5p mimic or inhibitor, followed by proliferation and wound-healing migration assays. qRT-PCR analyses of EMT makers in cells transfected with miR-155-5p inhibitor were performed.


We found high miR-155-5p expression in tissue samples from subjects with OSCC that had metastasized to cervical lymph nodes. HSC-3 cells also strongly expressed miR-155-5p. The epithelial marker E-cadherin was strongly expressed in HSC-3 cells transfected with miR-155-5p inhibitor, and we observed elevated SOCS1 and decreased STAT3 expression in these cells.


Our results suggest that miR-155-5p causes OSCC to metastasize, and could serve as a novel therapeutic target for OSCC.


epithelial mesenchymal transition; metastasis; miR-155; microRNA; oral cancer

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