J Cancer 2021; 12(22):6715-6726. doi:10.7150/jca.62816 This issue

Research Paper

RNA-binding Protein MBNL2 regulates Cancer Cell Metastasis through MiR-182-MBNL2-AKT Pathway

Guanglan Lin1,2#, Jiao Li3#, Jin Cai1,2, Haowei Zhang1,2, Qilei Xin1,2, Ningchao Wang1,2, Weidong Xie1,2, Yaou Zhang1,2, Naihan Xu1,2✉

1. State Key Laboratory of Chemical Oncogenomics, Tsinghua Shenzhen International Graduate School, Tsinghua University, Shenzhen 518055, China.
2. Institute of Biopharmaceutical and Health Engineering, Tsinghua Shenzhen International Graduate School, Tsinghua University, Shenzhen 518055, China.
3. Department of Neurology, Wuhan Hankou Hospital, Wuhan 430010, China.
#These authors contributed equally to this work.

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Citation:
Lin G, Li J, Cai J, Zhang H, Xin Q, Wang N, Xie W, Zhang Y, Xu N. RNA-binding Protein MBNL2 regulates Cancer Cell Metastasis through MiR-182-MBNL2-AKT Pathway. J Cancer 2021; 12(22):6715-6726. doi:10.7150/jca.62816. Available from https://www.jcancer.org/v12p6715.htm

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Abstract

Graphic abstract

The aberrant expression of RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) plays important roles in the occurrence and progression of cancer. MBNL2 is a member of the RNA binding protein MBNL family that is widely expressed in mammalian cells. We report here that MBNL2 is downregulated in breast, lung and liver cancer tissues, the promoter methylation levels of MBNL2 are higher in cancer tissues than normal tissues. The enrichment analysis of MBNL2 correlated genes indicates the potential function of MBNL2 on cancer progression. MBNL2 regulates cancer cell migration and invasion by modulating PI3K/AKT-mediated epithelial-mesenchymal transition. PI3K/AKT inhibitor overcomes the promotive effect of shMBNL2 on metastasis. The expression of MBNL2 is directly targeted by miR-182. miR-182 is upregulated in breast, lung and liver cancers and has good potential for cancer diagnosis. miR-182 promotes cancer cell migration and invasion by inhibiting the expression of MBNL2. Re-introduction of exogenous MBNL2 reverses the promotive effect of miR-182 on metastasis. Collectively, these findings suggest that MBNL2 plays a tumor suppressive function through miR-182-MBNL2-AKT-EMT signaling pathways.

Keywords: MBNL2, RNA-binding protein, miR-182, PI3K/AKT, Cancer, Metastasis