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Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014;15(16):6949-54.

MiRNA-15a mediates cell cycle arrest and potentiates apoptosis in breast cancer cells by targeting synuclein-γ.

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  • 1Center for Gene Diagnosis, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, China E-mail :



Recent studies have indicated that microRNA-15a (miR-15a) is dysregulated in breast cancer (BC). We aimed to evaluate the expression of miR-15a in BC tissues and corresponding para-carcinoma tissues. We also focused on effects of miR-15a on cellular behavior of MDA-MB-231 and expression of its target gene synuclein-γ (SNCG).


The expression levels of miR-15a were analysed in BC formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissues by microarray and quantitative real-time PCR. CCK-8 assays, cell cycle and apoptosis assays were used to explore the potential functions of miR-15a in MDA-MB-231 human BC cells. A luciferase reporter assay confirmed direct targets.


Downregulation of miR-15a was detected in most primary BCs. Ectopic expression of miR-15a promoted proliferation and suppressed apoptosis in vivo. Further studies indicated that miR-15a may directly interact with the 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR) of SNCG mRNA, downregulating its mRNA and protein expression levels. SNCG expression was negatively correlated with miR-15a expression.


MiR-15a has a critical role in mediating cell cycle arrest and promoting cell apoptosis of BC, probably by directly targeting SNCG. Thus, it may be involved in development and progression of BC.

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