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Cancer Res. 2009 Aug 1;69(15):6275-81. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-08-4517. Epub 2009 Jul 7.

MicroRNA miR-29 modulates expression of immunoinhibitory molecule B7-H3: potential implications for immune based therapy of human solid tumors.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 10065, USA.


B7-H3, a surface immunomodulatory glycoprotein, inhibits natural killer cells and T cells. The monoclonal antibody (mAb) 8H9 is specific for 4Ig-B7-H3, the long and principal form of B7-H3. Early results from radioimmunotherapy using 8H9 have shown promise in patients with metastatic solid tumors to the central nervous system. Whereas B7-H3 transcript was ubiquitously expressed in a wide spectrum of human solid tumors as well as human normal tissues, B7-H3 protein was preferentially expressed only in tumor tissues. By quantitative reverse transcription-PCR, all three isoforms of microRNA miR-29 (a, b, and c) were highly expressed in normal tissues. However, they were down-regulated in a broad spectrum of solid tumors, including neuroblastoma, sarcomas, brain tumors, and tumor cell lines. B7-H3 protein expression was inversely correlated with miR-29 levels in both cell lines and tumor tissues tested. Using luciferase reporter assay, miR-29a was shown to directly target B7-H3 3' untranslated region, and knock-in and knockdown of miR-29a led to down-regulation and up-regulation, respectively, of B7-H3 protein expression. The ability of miR-29 to control B7-H3 protein expression has implications in immune escape by solid tumors. Differential modulation of this key immunoinhibitory molecule in tumor versus normal tissues may advance both cell-mediated immunotherapy and antibody-based targeted strategies using the B7-H3-specific mAb 8H9.

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