Propose: Autophagy plays a complicated role in cancer progression. This study aims at assessing the function of ATG5-induced autophagy in progression of lung squamous cell carcinoma and its upstream mechanism.

Method: TCGA database of lung squamous cell carcinoma was analyzed to explore the differentially expressed miRNAs and mRNAs and relative prognosis. RT-PCR and Western blot were performed to evaluate autophagy relative gene expression level in human lung squamous cell carcinoma cell Lines. Autophagy flux was observed using transmission electron microscopy and immunofluorescence. Meanwhile, binding relationship of potential target miRNA and mRNAs were also confirmed using Dual-luciferase reporter gene assay. Lung metastatic model was established to evaluated the effect of targeting protein and miRNA.

Result: High level expression of ATG5 was detected in LUSC patients. Relative experiments confirmed that ATG5 silencing could decrease the autophagy flux in LUSC. In addition, our research revealed that there is a binding sites between hsa-mir-30a-5p and 3′-UTR of ATG5. Mimic miR-30a-5p suppresses ATG5-mediated autophagy in lung squamous cell carcinoma cells. The in vivo experiments confirmed that miR-30a-5p could attenuate lung squamous cell carcinoma progression through the autophagy pathway.

Conclusion: Accordingly, the in vivo and in vitro study in our research have demonstrated that miR-30a-5p inhibits lung squamous cell carcinoma progression via ATG5-mediated autophagy.