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Several important micropeptides encoded by noncoding RNAs have been identified in recent years; however, there have never been any reports of micropeptides in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Here we report the discovery and characterization of a human endogenous peptide named micropeptide inhibiting actin cytoskeleton (MIAC). Comprehensive analysis of the TCGA (The Cancer Genome Atlas) database (n = 500), clinical fresh samples (n = 94), and tissue microarrays (n = 60) revealed that lower MIAC expression is correlated with poor overall survival of HNSCC patients. Meanwhile, RNA-sequencing analysis of 9657 human tissues across 32 cancer types from TCGA cohorts found that MIAC is significantly associated with the progression of 5 other different tumors. Mechanistically, MIAC directly interacts with AQP2 (Aquaporin 2) to inhibit the actin cytoskeleton by regulating SEPT2 (Septin 2)/ITGB4 (Integrin Beta 4) and ultimately suppressing the tumor growth and metastasis of HNSCC. Collectively, the mechanism investigation and evaluation of MIAC activity in vivo and in vitro highlights that MIAC plays an important role in HNSCC tumorigenesis.


Mengwei Li, Xin Li, Yinan Zhang, Heming Wu, Haoze Zhou, Xu Ding, Xiaomin Zhang, Xinrong Jin, Ying Wang, Xinqiang Yin, Chencheng Li, Peiwei Yang, Hanmei Xu. Micropeptide MIAC Inhibits HNSCC Progression by Interacting with Aquaporin 2. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 2020 Apr 08;142(14):6708-6716

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PMID: 32176498

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