Supplementary Material for: MicroRNA-224 Promotes Pancreatic Cancer Cell Proliferation and Migration by Targeting the TXNIP-Mediated HIF1α Pathway

Background/Aims: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been shown to participate in the development of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) by modulating multiple cellular processes. Increased miR-224 expression enhances proliferation and metastasis in human cancers. This study aimed to investigate the role of miR-224 and its underlying mechanism of action in PDAC. Methods: BrdU, MTT, and cell migration assays were performed to determine cell proliferation, viability, and migration, respectively. The binding sites of miR-224 were identified using a luciferase reporter system, whereas protein expression of target genes was determined by immunoblotting and immunofluorescence analyses. A BALB/c nude mouse xenograft model was used to evaluate the role of miR-224 in vivo. Results: We demonstrated that miR-224 expression was enhanced in PDAC cells and tissues, and was related to migration and proliferation. Noticeably, miR-224 overexpression promoted the proliferation, migration, and metastasis of Panc1 cells, while miR-224 inhibition had the reverse effect on PDAC cells. Moreover, we found that thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP) is a target of miR-224. The results also indicated that miR-224 inversely regulated TXNIP by binding directly to its 3′-untranslated region, which resulted in the activation of hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF1α). Further, either TXNIP re-expression or HIF1α depletion abolished the effects of miR-224 on the proliferation and migration of PDAC cells in vitro and in vivo. Regarding the relationship of TXNIP and HIF1α, we found that TXNIP mediated the nuclear export of HIF1α and its degradation by forming a complex with HIF1α. Conclusion: The miR-224-TXNIP-HIF1α axis may be useful in developing novel therapies for PDAC.