The role of microRNA-148a and downstream DLGAP1 on the molecular regulation and tumor progression on human glioblastoma

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© 2019, The Author(s). Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common malignant primary brain tumor in adults. Currently, the prognosis of the patients with GBM is very poor and new molecular targets and treatment strategies are urgently needed to combat it. MicroRNA-148a (miR-148a) has been shown to be dysregulated in certain tumor types. However, the role of miR-148a in the pathogenesis of GBM is not fully understood. Here we comprehensively analyzed the roles of miR-148a, downstream DLGAP1, and their molecular pathways in GBM. We showed that miR-148a promote the proliferation and growth of GBM cells both in vitro and in vivo, and also induced the migration, invasion, and EMT (epithelial–mesenchymal transition) program of GBM cells by directly targeting DLGAP1. Furthermore, we identified 31 new miR-148a targets and found that miR-148a function was mainly involved in the cell adhesion signaling pathway and was associated with nervous system diseases. Our findings provide a new mechanism for miR-148a-mediated GBM cell invasion and reveal previously unreported targets of miR-148a as well as novel miR-148a-mediated regulatory networks in GBM. These results increase the understanding of the role of miR-148a in GBM and may lead to novel therapeutic strategies for GBM.