Prostaglandin E2 Induces miR675-5p to Promote Colorectal Tumor Metastasis via Modulation of p53 Expression

Bo Cen, Jessica D. Lang, Yuchen Du, Jie Wei, Ying Xiong, Norma Bradley, Dingzhi Wang, Raymond N. DuBois*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Background & Aims: Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) promotes colorectal tumor formation and progression by unknown mechanisms. We sought to identify microRNAs (miRNAs) that might mediate the effects of PGE2 on colorectal cancer (CRC) development. Methods: We incubated LS174T colorectal cancer cells with PGE2 or without (control) and used miRNA-sequencing technology to compare expression patterns of miRNAs. We knocked down levels of specific miRNAs or proteins in cells using small interfering RNAs or genome editing. Cells were analyzed by immunoblot, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, chromosome immunoprecipitation, cell invasion, and luciferase reporter assays; we measured gene expression, binding activity, cell migration and invasion, and transcriptional activity of transcription factors. NOD-scidIL-2Rg–/– mice were given injections of LS174T cells, and growth of primary tumors and numbers of liver and lung metastases were quantified and analyzed by histology. We used public databases to identify correlations in gene expression pattern with patient outcomes. Results: We identified miRNA 675-5p (miR675-5p) as the miRNA most highly up-regulated by incubation of colorectal cancer cells with PGE2. PGE2 increased expression of miR675-5p by activating expression of Myc, via activation of protein kinase B, also known as (AKT), nuclear factor κB, and β-catenin. PGE2 increased the invasive activities of cultured CRC cells. LS174T cells incubated with PGE2 formed more liver and lung metastases in mice than control LS174T cells. We identified a 3′ untranslated region in the TP53 messenger RNA that bound miR675-5p; binding resulted in loss of the p53 protein. Expression of miR675-5p or its precursor RNA, H19, correlated with expression of cyclooxygenase-1 and cyclooxygenase-2 and shorter survival times of patients with CRC. Conclusions: We found that treatment of mice with PGE2 increased CRC cells invasive activity and ability to form liver and lung metastases. PGE2 down-regulates expression of p53 by increasing expression of miR675-5p, which binds to and prevents translation of TP53 messenger RNA. These findings provide insight into the mechanisms by which PGE2 promotes tumor development and progression. Strategies to target PGE2 might be developed for treatment of CRC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)971-984.e10
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Gene Regulation
  • Inflammation
  • Posttranscriptional Modification
  • Tumor Suppressor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Hepatology


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