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Cancer Res. 2011 May 15;71(10):3552-62. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-2435. Epub 2011 Mar 28.

miR-125b is methylated and functions as a tumor suppressor by regulating the ETS1 proto-oncogene in human invasive breast cancer.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory of Oncology in Southern China, and Department of Pathology, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, PR China.


The microRNA miR-125b is dysregulated in various human cancers but its underlying mechanisms of action are poorly understood. Here, we report that miR-125b is downregulated in invasive breast cancers where it predicts poor patient survival. Hypermethylation of the miR-125b promoter partially accounted for reduction of miR-125b expression in human breast cancer. Ectopic restoration of miR-125b expression in breast cancer cells suppressed proliferation, induced G(1) cell-cycle arrest in vitro, and inhibited tumorigenesis in vivo. We identified the ETS1 gene as a novel direct target of miR-125b. siRNA-mediated ETS1 knockdown phenocopied the effect of miR-125b in breast cell lines and ETS1 overexpression in invasive breast cancer tissues also correlated with poor patient prognosis. Taken together, our findings point to an important role for miR-125b in the molecular etiology of invasive breast cancer, and they suggest miR-125b as a potential theranostic tool in this disease.

©2011 AACR

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