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Mol Cells. 2018 Sep 30;41(9):868-880. doi: 10.14348/molcells.2018.0109. Epub 2018 Sep 18.

EZH2-Mediated microRNA-139-5p Regulates Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition and Lymph Node Metastasis of Pancreatic Cancer.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Luwan Branch of Ruijin Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200020, P.R. China.
Department of General Surgery, Ruijin Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200025, P.R. China.


Pancreatic cancer (PC) is one of the most aggressive cancers presenting with high rates of invasion and metastasis, and unfavorable prognoses. The current study aims to investigate whether EZH2/miR-139-5p axis affects epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and lymph node metastasis (LNM) in PC, and the mechanism how EZH2 regulates miR-139-5p. Human PC and adjacent normal tissues were collected to determine expression of EZH2 and miR-139-5p, and their relationship with clinicopathological features of PC. Human PC cell line was selected, and treated with miR-139-5p mimics/inhibitors, EZH2 vector or shEZH2 in order to validate the regulation of EZH2-mediated miR-139-5p in PC cells. Dual-luciferase report gene assay and chromatin immunoprecipitation assay were employed to identify the relationship between miR-139-5p and EZH2. RT-qPCR and Western blot analysis were conducted to determine the expression of miR-139-5p, EZH2 and EMT-related markers and ZEB1/2. Tumor formation ability and in vitro cell activity were also analyzed. Highly-expressed EZH2 and poorly-expressed miR-139-5p were detected in PC tissues, and miR-139-5p and EZH2 expressions were associated with patients at Stage III/IV, with LNM and highly-differentiated tumors. EZH2 suppressed the expression of miR-139-5p through up-regulating Histone 3 Lysine 27 Trimethylation (H3K27me3). EMT, cell proliferation, migration and invasion were impeded, and tumor formation and LNM were reduced in PC cells transfected with miR-139-5p mimics and shEZH2. MiR-139-5p transcription is inhibited by EZH2 through up-regulating H3K27me3, thereby down-regulation of EZH2 and up-regulation of miR-139-5p impede EMT and LNM in PC. In addition, the EZH2/miR-139-5p axis presents as a promising therapeutic strategy for the treatment of PC.


enhancer of zeste homolog 2; epithelial-mesenchymal transition; lymph node metastasis; microRNA-139-5p; pancreatic cancer; proliferation

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