MicroRNA-34a: A Versatile Regulator of Myriads of Targets in Different Cancers
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have emerged as new gene regulators and prognostic markers in various cancers. Although the lncRNA nuclear enriched abundant transcript 1 (NEAT1) has been associated with tumorigenesis, its functions in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) have not been elucidated. We determined that NEAT1 is up-regulated in RCC tissue compared to corresponding non-tumor tissue. High NEAT1 expression was associated with tumor progression and poor survival in RCC patients. NEAT1 knockdown suppressed RCC cell proliferation by inhibiting cell cycle progression, and inhibited RCC cell migration and invasion by reversing the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition phenotype. Down-regulation of NEAT1 increased the sensitivity of RCC cells to sorafenib in vitro. Mechanistic analysis revealed that NEAT1 acts as a competitive sponge for miR-34a, which prevents inhibition of c-Met. Thus, NEAT1 promotes RCC progression through the miR-34a/c-Met axis.