miR-663a regulates growth of colon cancer cells, after administration of antimicrobial peptides, by targeting CXCR4-p21 pathway

Posted on 2017-01-07 - 05:00
Abstract Background Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) play important roles in the innate immune system of all life forms and recently have been characterized as multifunctional peptides that have a variety of biological roles such as anticancer agents. However, detailed mechanism of antimicrobial peptides on cancer cells is still largely unknown. Methods miRNA array and real-time qPCR were performed to reveal the behavior of miRNA in colon cancer HCT116 cells during the growth suppression induced by the AMPs. Establishment of miR-663a over-expressing HCT116 cells was carried out for the evaluation of growth both in vitro and in vivo. To identify the molecular mechanisms, we used western blotting analysis. Results miR-663a is upregulated by administration of the human cathelicidin AMP, LL-37, and its analogue peptide, FF/CAP18, in the colon cancer cell line HCT116. Over-expression of miR-663a caused anti-proliferative effects both in vitro and in vivo. We also provide evidence supporting the view that these effects are attributed to suppression of the expression of the chemokine receptor CXCR4, resulting in the abrogation of phosphorylation of Akt and cell cycle arrest in G2/M via p21 activation. Conclusions This study contributes to the understanding of the AMPs’ mediated anti-cancer mechanisms in colon cancer cells and highlights the possibility of using AMPs and miRNAs towards developing future strategies for cancer therapy.


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