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J Biol Chem. 2008 Nov 28;283(48):33394-405. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M804788200. Epub 2008 Sep 25.

Down-regulation of micro-RNA-1 (miR-1) in lung cancer. Suppression of tumorigenic property of lung cancer cells and their sensitization to doxorubicin-induced apoptosis by miR-1.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry and Pathology, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA.


Micro-RNAs are approximately 21-25-nucleotide-long noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression primarily at the post-transcriptional level in animals. Here, we report that micro-RNA-1 (miR-1), abundant in the cardiac and smooth muscles, is expressed in the lung and is down-regulated in human primary lung cancer tissues and cell lines. In situ hybridization demonstrated localization of miR-1 in bronchial epithelial cells. The tumor suppressor C/EBPalpha, frequently suppressed in lung cancer, reactivated miR-1 expression in the lung cancer cells. Repressed miR-1 was also activated in lung cancer cells upon treatment with a histone deacetylase inhibitor. These observations led us to examine the antitumorigenic potential of miR-1 in lung cancer cells. Expression of miR-1 in nonexpressing A549 and H1299 cells reversed their tumorigenic properties, such as growth, replication potential, motility/migration, clonogenic survival, and tumor formation in nude mice. Exogenous miR-1 significantly reduced expression of oncogenic targets, such as MET, a receptor tyrosine kinase, and Pim-1, a Ser/Thr kinase, frequently up-regulated in lung cancer. Similarly, the levels of two additional targets, FoxP1, a transcription factor with oncogeneic property, and HDAC4 that represses differentiation-promoting genes, were reduced in miR-1-expressing cells. Conversely, depletion of miR-1 facilitated N417 cell growth with concomitant elevation of these targets. Further, ectopic miR-1 induced apoptosis in A549 cells in response to the potent anticancer drug doxorubicin. Enhanced activation of caspases 3 and 7, cleavage of their substrate PARP-1, and depletion of anti-apoptotic Mcl-1 contributed to the sensitivity of miR-1-expressing cells to doxorubicin. Thus, miR-1 has potential therapeutic application against lung cancers.

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