The aim of the study is to explore the contribution and mechanism of circular RNA fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (circFGFR1) in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) progression.
Expressions of circFGFR1, microRNA (miR)-532-3p, and phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase catalytic subunit beta (PIK3CB) were assessed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction or in situ hybridization. Fluorescence in situ hybridization determined the subcellular localization of circFGFR1. Immunohistochemistry was used to detect PIK3CB expression in PDAC tissues. Cell growth was evaluated by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide and colony formation assays. Wound healing, transwell, and flow cytometry assays examined the migration, invasion, and apoptosis. Dual-luciferase and RNA pull-down assay verified the interactions between circFGFR1/PIK3CB and miR-532-3p. In vivo xenograft tumor growth and lung metastasis were assessed in nude mice.
Functionally, knockdown of circFGFR1 restrained in vitro PDAC cell growth, migration, invasion, and in vivo xenograft tumor growth and lung metastasis. In addition, circFGFR1 could sponge miR-532-3p to upregulate PIK3CB level. Rescue experiments revealed that the tumor-suppressive effects caused by miR-532-3p mimics could be reversed by circFGFR1 or PIK3CB overexpression.
Our data revealed that circFGFR1 driven the malignant progression of PDAC by targeting miR-532-3p/PIK3CB axis, suggesting that inhibition of circFGFR1 might be considered as a therapeutic target for PDAC.