EZH2 inhibition and reactivation of tumor suppressor microRNAs (miRNAs) represent attractive anti-cancer therapeutic strategies. We found that EZH2-suppressed let 7b and miR-361, two likely tumor suppressors, inhibited endometrial cancer (EC) cell proliferation and invasion, and abrogated cancer stem cell-like properties. In EC cells, EZH2 induced and functioned together with YY1 to epigenetically suppress miR-361, which upregulated Twist, a direct target of miR-361. Treating EC cells with GSK343, a specific EZH2 inhibitor, mimicked the effects of siRNA-mediated EZH2 knockdown, upregulating miR-361 and downregulating Twist expression. Combining GSK343 with 5 AZA-2'-deoxycytidine synergistically suppressed cell proliferation and invasion in vitro, and decreased tumor size and weight in EC cell xenografted mice. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis of 24 primary EC tissues showed that lower let-7b and miR-361 levels were associated with worse patient outcomes. These results were validated in a larger EC patient dataset from The Cancer Genome Atlas. Our findings suggest that EZH2 drives EC progression by regulating miR-361/Twist signaling, and support EZH2 inhibition as a promising anti-EC therapeutic strategy.
We thank Dr. Zhujie Xu for experimental assistance.
This work was funded by a grant from the Department of Women’s Health Educational System, a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C) (15K10697
and 16K11123) and by the Science and Technology Planning Project of Guangdong Province, China (2013B021800155).
- endometrial cancer