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Cancer Res. 2008 Mar 1;68(5):1362-8. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-07-2912.

MicroRNA-137 targets microphthalmia-associated transcription factor in melanoma cell lines.

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Division of Medical Oncology, University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine, Aurora, CO 80045, USA.


Micropthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) is the master regulator of melanocyte development, survival, and function. Frequent alteration in the expression of MITF is detected in melanoma, but the mechanism(s) underlying the alteration in expression have not been completely determined. In these studies, we have identified microRNA-137 (miR-137) as a regulator of MITF expression. The genomic locus of miR-137 at chromosome 1p22 places it in a region of the human genome previously determined to harbor an allele for melanoma susceptibility. Here, we show that expression of mature miR-137 in melanoma cell lines down-regulates MITF expression. Further, we have identified a 15-bp variable nucleotide tandem repeat located just 5' to the pre-miR-137 sequence, which alters the processing and function of miR-137 in melanoma cell lines.

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