MiR-9-5p exerts a dual role in cervical cancer and targets transcription factor TWIST1

Iris Babion, Annelieke Jaspers, Annina P. van Splunter, Iris A. E. van der Hoorn, Saskia M. Wilting, Renske D. M. Steenbergen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and adenocarcinoma (AC) represent the major cervical cancer histotypes. Both histotypes are caused by infection with high-risk HPV (hrHPV) and are associated with deregulated microRNA expression. Histotype-dependent expression has been observed for miR-9-5p, showing increased expression in SCC and low expression in AC. Here, we studied the regulation and functionality of miR-9-5p in cervical SCCs and ACs using cervical tissue samples and hrHPV-containing cell lines. Expression and methylation analysis of cervical tissues revealed that low levels of miR-9-5p in ACs are linked to methylation of its precursor genes, particularly miR-9-1. Stratification of tissue samples and hrHPV-containing cell lines suggested that miR-9-5p depends on both histotype and hrHPV type, with higher expression in SCCs and HPV16-positive cells. MiR-9-5p promoted cell viability and anchorage independence in cervical cancer cell lines SiHa (SCC, HPV16) and CaSki (metastasized SCC, HPV16), while it played a tumor suppressive role in HeLa (AC, HPV18). TWIST1, a transcription factor involved in epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), was established as a novel miR-9-5p target. Our results show that miR-9-5p plays a dual role in cervical cancer in a histotype-and hrHPV type-dependent manner. MiR-9-5p mediated silencing of TWIST1 suggests two distinct mechanisms towards EMT in cervical cancer.
Original languageEnglish
Article number65
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020

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