LncRNA FER1L4 induces apoptosis and suppresses EMT and the activation of PI3K/AKT pathway in osteosarcoma cells via inhibiting miR-18a-5p to promote SOCS5

Previous studies have determined that long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) Fer-1-like protein 4 (FER1L4) is suppressed in osteosarcoma (OS) and inhibits the tumorigenesis in a variety of cancer. However, the precise biological of FER1L4 in OS has not been cleared. The aim of this study is to investigate the roles and potential mechanisms of FER1L4 in apoptosis and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in OS. In the present study, the levels of FER1L4 were decreased significantly in OS tissues and cell lines compared with non-tumorous tissues or hFOB1.19. Knockdown of FER1L4 in OS cells decreased the apoptosis rate, but increased the OS cell proliferation, upregulated the expression levels of CD133 and Nanog, as well as promoted Twist1 expression, increased the N-cadherin and Vimentin expression. In turn, the opposite trends were observed upon overexpression of FER1L4. In addition, the expression of PI3K, p-AKT (Ser470) and p-AKT (Thr308) was upregulated by siFER1L4, while decreased upon overexpression of FER1L4. MicroRNA (miRNA) -18a-5p, an osteosarcoma-promoting miRNA which was suggested a target of FER1L4 in osteosarcoma, was identified to be a functional target of FER1L4 on the regulating of cell apoptosis and EMT, presently. The effects of FER1L4 overexpression on the markers of cell apoptosis, proliferation, EMT, and stemness and PI3K/AKT signaling were all reversed by miR-18a-5p upregulation. Furthermore, the suppressor of cytokine signaling 5 (SOCS5) was confirmed a target gene of miR-18a-5p by luciferase gene reporter assay and SOCS5 suppression by miR-18a-5p attenuated the effects of FER1L4 overexpression on the OS cells apoptosis and the expressed levels of PI3K, AKT, Twist1, N-cadherin and Vimentin. In conclusion, our data indicated thatthe overexpression of FER1L4 promoted apoptosis and inhibited the EMT markers expression and PI3K/AKT signaling pathway activation in OS cells via downregulating miR-18a-5p to promote SOCS5.

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