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Tumour Biol. 2016 Oct;37(10):13469-13477. Epub 2016 Jul 27.

MicroRNA-106b promotes pituitary tumor cell proliferation and invasion through PI3K/AKT signaling pathway by targeting PTEN.

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Department of Neurosurgery, the First Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University, #137 Liyushan South Road, Xinshi District, Urumqi, 830054, China.
Department of Neurosurgery, the First Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University, #137 Liyushan South Road, Xinshi District, Urumqi, 830054, China.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the expression of microRNA-106b (miR-106b) and phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) in pituitary tumor and to confirm whether miR-106b promotes proliferation and invasion of pituitary tumor cells through the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway by targeted regulation of PTEN expression, and thereby to find new targets for the treatment of pituitary tumor. Fifty-five cases of pituitary tumor tissue samples were collected, including 29 cases of invasive pituitary tumor, non-invasive 26 cases, and 8 normal pituitaries. The expression level of miR-106b in pituitary tumor tissue was detected by quantitative real-time PCR, and the expression of PTEN protein was detected by immunohistochemistry. PTEN 3'-untranslated region (UTR) luciferase vector was constructed, and dual-luciferase reporter gene assay was employed to examine the effect of miR-106b on PTEN 3'-UTR luciferase activity. AtT-20 cells were transfected with miR-106b mimics, miR-106b inhibitor, PTEN expression plasmid, and miR-106b mimics + PTEN expression plasmid respectively, and the changes in cellular proliferation and invasion were observed via MTT method and transwell assay respectively. PTEN messenger RNA (mRNA) expression was determined by quantitative real-time PCR, and western blotting was performed to detect the expression of PTEN, PI3K, AKT, and pAKT. miR-106b showed up-regulation in invasive pituitary tumor tissue: the expression level was significantly up-regulated compared with normal tissues and the non-invasive pituitary tumor tissue (P < 0.05). The positive rate of PTEN protein expression in invasive pituitary tumor tissues was significantly lower than in normal and non-invasive tissues (P < 0.01). Dual-luciferase reporter gene assay showed that miR-106b could bind to the 3'-UTR of PTEN specifically and significantly inhibited the luciferase activity, cutting the 46 % (P < 0.01). Down-regulation of miR-106b or up-regulation of PTEN could suppress cell proliferation and invasion of AtT-20 cells, and PTEN expression plasmid could partially simulate the function of miR-106b. Expression of PTEN mRNA and protein decreased significantly in AtT-20 cells overexpressing miR-106b. The expression levels of PI3K and p-AKT were significantly inhibited by miR-106b inhibitor and increased by miR-106b mimics. The expression of miR-106b showed up-regulation in pituitary tumor tissues, while the protein expression of PTEN presented opposite results. The findings of this study further demonstrated that miR-106b as an oncogene regulated the pituitary tumor cell proliferation and invasion in vitro by directly targeting PTEN through the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway. Our study suggests that miR-106b and PTEN are likely to serve as potential diagnostic biomarkers or therapeutic targets for pituitary tumor treatment in the future.


AtT-20 cells; Cell proliferation; Invasion; PI3K/AKT; PTEN; Pituitary tumor; miR-106b

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