The epithelial‐mesenchymal transition (EMT) comprises an important biological mechanism not only for cancer progression but also in the therapeutic resistance of cancer cells. While the importance of the protein abundance of EMT‐inducers, such as Snail (SNAI1) and Zeb1 (ZEB1), during EMT progression is clear, the reciprocal interactions between the untranslated regions (UTRs) of EMT‐inducers via a competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) network have received little attention. In this study, we found a synchronized transcript abundance of Snail and Zeb1 mediated by a non‐coding RNA network in colorectal cancer (CRC). Importantly, the trans‐regulatory ceRNA network in the UTRs of EMT inducers is mediated by competition between tumor suppressive miRNA‐34 (miR‐34) and miRNA‐200 (miR‐200). Furthermore, the ceRNA network consisting of the UTRs of EMT inducers and tumor suppressive miRs is functional in the EMT phenotype and therapeutic resistance of colon cancer. In The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) samples, we also found genome‐wide ceRNA gene sets regulated by miR‐34a and miR‐200 in colorectal cancer. These results indicate that the ceRNA networks regulated by the reciprocal interaction between EMT gene UTRs and tumor suppressive miRs are functional in CRC progression and therapeutic resistance.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry