MicroRNA-27a-3p Modulates the Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling Pathway to Promote Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition in Oral Squamous Carcinoma Stem Cells by Targeting SFRP1
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This study aimed to elucidate how microRNA27a-3p (miR-27a-3p) modulates the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway to promote the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in oral squamous carcinoma stem cells (OSCSCs) by targeting secreted frizzled-related protein 1 (SFRP1). Flow cytometry was used to sort OSCSCs from the SCC-9 and Tca8113 cell lines. The OSCSCs were randomly assigned into the miR-27a-3p inhibitors group, the miR-27a-3p inhibitors-NC group, the si-SFRP1 group, the si-SFRP1 + miR-27a-3p inhibitors group and the blank group. A luciferase reporter, immunofluorescence and Transwell assays were performed to detect luciferase activity, SFRP1, and cell migration and invasion, respectively. The mRNA expression of miR-27a-3p, SFRP1 and EMT markers (E-cadherin, N-cadherin, vimentin and ZEB1) were detected using qRT-PCR. The protein expression of SFRP1, EMT markers and the proteins of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway was detected by Western blotting. OSCSCs showed up-regulated miR-27a-3p, Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway-related proteins, vimentin, N-cadherin and ZEB1 and down-regulated SFRP1 and E-cadherin. MiR-27a-3p targeted SFRP1. Down-regulated miR-27a-3p resulted in increased E-cadherin and SFRP1 but decreased vimentin, N-cadherin, ZEB1, the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway-related proteins, and invasive and migratory cells. Silenced SFRP1 reversed this effect. We found that miR-27a-3p modulated the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway to promote EMT in OSCSCs by down-regulating SFRP1.
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