Microrna And Epigenetic Regulation Of Human Cholangiocarcinoma
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a group of small, noncoding RNAs that modulate the translation of genes into proteins by binding to specific target sites in messenger RNAs. This study investigated the biological function and molecular mechanism of microRNA-21 (miR-21) in human cholangiocarcinoma. In situ hybridization analysis of human cholangiocarcinoma tissues showed increased miR-21 in cholangiocarcinoma cells compared to the noncancerous biliary epithelial cells. Forced overexpression of miR-21 by lentivirus transduction enhanced human cholangiocarcinoma cell growth and clonogenic efficiency in vitro, whereas inhibition of miR-21 decreased these parameters. MiR-21 overexpression also promoted cholangiocarcinoma growth in a tumor xenograft model. The NAD+-linked 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase (15-PGDH), a key enzyme that converts the pro-tumorigenic prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) to biologically inactive metabolite, was identified as a direct target of miR-21 in cholangiocarcinoma cells. In parallel, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) overexpression and PGE2 treatment increased miR-21 expression and enhanced miR-21 promoter reporter activity in human cholangiocarcinoma cells. Our results disclose a novel cross-talk between COX-2/PGE2 and miR-21 signaling pathways that converges at 15-PGDH which is crucial in cholangiocarcinogenesis and tumor progression. The enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) is the catalytic subunit in the PRC2 complex catalyzing the trimethylation of histone3 lysine27 (H3K27) and mediates gene silencing of the target genes. The biological function of EZH2 in cholangiocarcinoma was investigated in this study. Immunohistochemistry staining of EZH2 on human cholangiocarcinoma tissues showed increased EZH2 expression in cholangiocarcinoma cells. Pharmacologically inhibition of EZH2 by EZH2 inhibitors decreased cholangiocarcinoma growth and induced G1 arrest. The CD133, one of the putative cancer stem cell markers, was found to express in the cholangiocarcinoma cell lines we used. Inhibition of EZH2 decreased CD133+ population and the sphere forming ability of cancer cells. Our results indicate that EZH2 may represent a promising target for targeting the tumor-initiating cell population and future cholangiocarcinoma therapy.