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Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2012 Jan;18(1):94-100. doi: 10.1002/ibd.21742. Epub 2011 May 6.

miR-143 and miR-145 are downregulated in ulcerative colitis: putative regulators of inflammation and protooncogenes.

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Section of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, University of Chicago, Illinois, USA.



miR-143 and miR-145 are believed to function as colon cancer tumor suppressors, as they inhibit colon cancer cell growth and are downregulated in sporadic colonic tumors. We speculated that miR-143 and miR-145 might also be downregulated and contribute to malignant transformation of colonic epithelium in longstanding ulcerative colitis (UC).


Biopsies were obtained 20 cm proximal to the anus from individuals with quiescent UC and from normal controls. RNA and proteins were extracted and measured. miR-143 and miR-145 were quantified by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and miR-145 was also assessed by in situ hybridization. Putative targets of these miRNAs, K-RAS, API5, MEK-2 (miR-143), and IRS-1 (miR-145) were determined by western blotting. To assess the effects of miR-143 and miR-145 on these predicted targets, HCT116 and HCA-7 colorectal cancer cells were transfected with miR-143 and miR-145 and expression levels of these proteins were measured.


In UC, miR-143 and miR-145 were significantly downregulated 8.3-fold (3.4-20.1) (P < 0.0001) and 4.3-fold (2.3-7.8) (P < 0.0001), respectively, compared to normal colon. In contrast, IRS-1, K-RAS, API5, and MEK-2 were upregulated in UC, consistent with their assignments as targets of these miRNAs. Furthermore, transfected miR-143 and miR-145 significantly downregulated these proteins in HCT116 or HCA-7 cells.


Compared to normal colonic mucosa, in chronic UC miR-143 and miR-145 were significantly downregulated and their predicted targets, IRS-1, K-RAS, API5, and MEK-2 were upregulated. We postulate that loss of these tumor suppressor miRNAs predispose to chronic inflammation and neoplastic progression in IBD.

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