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J Biol Chem. 2011 Jul 22;286(29):25992-6002. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.229401. Epub 2011 May 19.

miR-200a regulates SIRT1 expression and epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT)-like transformation in mammary epithelial cells.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21201, USA.


Evidence supports a critical role for microRNAs (miRNAs) in regulation of tissue-specific differentiation and development. Signifying a disruption of these programs, expression profiling has revealed extensive miRNA dysregulation in tumors compared with healthy tissue. The miR-200 family has been established as a key regulator of epithelial phenotype and, as such, is deeply involved in epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) processes in breast cancer. However, the effects of the miR-200 family on transformation of normal mammary epithelial cells have yet to be fully characterized. By examining a TGF-β driven model of transformation of normal mammary epithelium, we demonstrate that the class III histone deacetylase silent information regulator 1 (SIRT1), a proposed oncogene in breast cancer, is overexpressed upon EMT-like transformation and that epigenetic silencing of miR-200a contributes at least in part to the overexpression of SIRT1. We have established the SIRT1 transcript as subject to regulation by miR-200a, through miR-200a targeting of SIRT1 3'-UTR. We also observed SIRT1 and miR-200a participation in a negative feedback regulatory loop. Restoration of miR-200a or the knockdown of SIRT1 prevented transformation of normal mammary epithelial cells evidenced by decreased anchorage-independent growth and decreased cell migration. Finally, we observed SIRT1 overexpression in association with decreased miR-200a in breast cancer patient samples. These observations provide further evidence for a critical tumor suppressive role of the miR-200 family in breast epithelium in addition to identifying a novel regulatory mechanism, which may contribute to SIRT1 up-regulation in breast cancer.

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