Research Paper Volume 13, Issue 1 pp 769—781

The microRNA miR-29c-5p inhibits cell proliferation and migration by targeting TMEM98 in head and neck carcinoma

Jingjia Li1, , Weixiong Chen1, , Lixia Luo2, , Lieqiang Liao1, , Xuequan Deng1, , Yuejian Wang1, ,

  • 1 Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, The First People's Hospital of Foshan, Guangdong, China
  • 2 Department of Nosocomial Infection Control, The First People's Hospital of Foshan, Guangdong, China

Received: April 20, 2020       Accepted: October 5, 2020       Published: November 26, 2020
How to Cite

Copyright: © 2020 Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), which occurs frequently worldwide, is characterized by high risk of metastasis. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play crucial roles in tumorigenesis and cancer development. In this study, miR-29c-5p was identified using three high throughput microarrays. We measure miR-29c-5p expression in HNSCC tissues and cell lines. To determine the function of miR-29c-5p in HNSCC, we evaluated its effects in vitro on cell proliferation, the cell cycle, apoptosis, and cell migration. We employed a mouse tumor xenograft model to determine the effects of miR-29c-5p on tumors generated by HNSCC cell lines. The miR-29c-5p expression was lower in HNSCC tissues than in normal tissues. Upregulated miR-29c-5p expression in HNSCC cells inhibited migration and arrested cells in the G2/M phase of the cell cycle. Further, upregulated miR-29c-5p expression inhibited the proliferation of HNSCC cells in vivo and in vitro. In addition, transmembrane protein 98 (TMEM98) was identified as a direct target of miR-29c-5p by using a luciferase reporter assay. These findings provide new insights that link the regulation of miR-29c-5p expression to the malignant phenotype of HNSCC and suggest that employing miR-29c-5p may serve as a therapeutic strategy for managing patients with HNSCC.


HNSCC: head and neck squamous cell carcinoma; GEO: Gene Expression Omnibus; OS: overall survival; CI: confidence intervals; DEMs: differential expressed miRNAs.