Background: MicroRNAs regulate gene expression at the posttranscriptional level and play important roles in tumor development, progression, and metastasis. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of microRNA-92a (miR-92a) in metastasis of colorectal cancer (CRC). Methods: One hundred fifty-eight CRC patients were enrolled. The expression of miR-92a, PTEN, and E-cadherin was analyzed by real-time PCR. Univariate (Kaplan–Meier) analysis was used to analyze primary outcomes included 5-year overall survival and tumor recurrence. CRC cell model studies were used to analyze the miR-92a-involved CRC metastasis. Results: The expression of miR-92a in tumor tissues was significantly positively correlated with lymph node metastasis in CRC patients (p = 0.012). After adjusting for age, sex, and disease differentiation, this correlation remained significant (p = 0.01). In addition, there was a negative correlation between levels of miR-92a and the PTEN gene (p < 0.0001). No any association of miR-92a and E-cadherin was found (p = 0.128). Patients with high miR-92a/low PTEN had poorer overall survival and disease-free survival rates than those with high miR-92a/high PTEN, low miR-92a/high PTEN, and low miR-92a/low PTEN. The association of levels of miR-92a and PTEN with tumor cell migration in CRC was also confirmed in CRC cell models. Conclusions: We suggest that miR-92a is involved in lymph node metastasis of CRC patients through PTEN-regulated PI3K/AKT signaling pathway. © 2014, Society of Surgical Oncology.
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