Long noncoding RNA H19 regulates HIF-1α/AXL signaling through inhibiting miR-20b-5p in endometrial cancer

In a variety of cancers, long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) were believed to play important roles. Nevertheless, H19’s possible molecular mechanism related to miR-20b-5p has not yet been explored in endometrial cancer. Differential lncRNAs in endometrial cancer were identified based on microarray analysis (GSE23339). In this research, in the first place, H19 expression was detected to be increased but miR-20b-5p to be decreased in endometrial cancer tissues and cells. Besides, H19 expression displayed a negative relationship to miR-20b-5p expression in endometrial cancer tissues. According to gain- and loss-of-function experiments of H19, like a ceRNA, H19 elevated AXL level and HIF-1α expression so as to stimulate the migration, proliferation and EMT process of endometrial cancer. Additionally, the knockdown of H19 slowed down tumor growth, promoted apoptosis and upregulated miR-20b-5p expression but lowered the expressions of HIF-1α, PCNA and AXL in vivo. Furthermore, H19 was also verified to stimulate the activity of endometrial cancer with AXL inhibitor BGB324 in vitro and in vivo. To sum up, H19 accelerates the tumor formation of endometrial cancer through the miR-20b-5p/AXL/HIF-1α signaling pathway, thereby providing a novel target for diagnosing and treating endometrial cancer.