Doctor of Philosophy, University of California Davis (2017)
Agnieszka Czechowicz, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
Chloride intracellular channel 4 (CLIC4) is a tumor suppressor implicated in processes including growth arrest, differentiation, and apoptosis. CLIC4 protein expression is diminished in the tumor parenchyma during progression in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and other neoplasms, but the underlying mechanisms have not been identified. Data from The Cancer Genome Atlas suggest this is not driven by genomic alterations. However, screening and functional assays identified miR-142-3p as a regulator of CLIC4. CLIC4 and miR-142-3p expression are inversely correlated in head and neck (HN) SCC and cervical SCC, particularly in advanced stage cancers. In situ localization revealed that stromal immune cells, not tumor cells, are the predominant source of miR-142-3p in HNSCC. Furthermore, HNSCC single-cell expression data demonstrated that CLIC4 is lower in tumor epithelial cells than in stromal fibroblasts and endothelial cells. Tumor-specific downregulation of CLIC4 was confirmed in an SCC xenograft model concurrent with immune cell infiltration and miR-142-3p upregulation. These findings provide the first evidence of CLIC4 regulation by miRNA. Furthermore, the distinct localization of CLIC4 and miR-142-3p within the HNSCC tumor milieu highlight the limitations of bulk tumor analysis and provide critical considerations for both future mechanistic studies and use of miR-142-3p as a HNSCC biomarker.
View details for DOI 10.18632/oncotarget.27387
View details for PubMedID 31921386
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6944452