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Am J Pathol. 2011 Nov;179(5):2162-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2011.07.010. Epub 2011 Sep 3.

miR-193b Regulates Mcl-1 in Melanoma.

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Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.


MicroRNAs play important roles in gene regulation, and their expression is frequently dysregulated in cancer cells. In a previous study, we reported that miR-193b represses cell proliferation and regulates cyclin D1 in melanoma cells, suggesting that miR-193b could act as a tumor suppressor. Herein, we demonstrate that miR-193b also down-regulates myeloid cell leukemia sequence 1 (Mcl-1) in melanoma cells. MicroRNA microarray profiling revealed that miR-193b is expressed at a significantly lower level in malignant melanoma than in benign nevi. Consistent with this, Mcl-1 is detected at a higher level in malignant melanoma than in benign nevi. In a survey of melanoma samples, the level of Mcl-1 is inversely correlated with the level of miR-193b. Overexpression of miR-193b in melanoma cells represses Mcl-1 expression. Previous studies showed that Mcl-1 knockdown cells are hypersensitive to ABT-737, a small-molecule inhibitor of Bcl-2, Bcl-X(L), and Bcl-w. Similarly, overexpression of miR-193b restores ABT-737 sensitivity to ABT-737-resistant cells. Furthermore, the effect of miR-193b on the expression of Mcl-1 seems to be mediated by direct interaction between miR-193b and seed and seedless pairing sequences in the 3' untranslated region of Mcl-1 mRNA. Thus, this study provides evidence that miR-193b directly regulates Mcl-1 and that down-regulation of miR-193b in vivo could be an early event in melanoma progression.

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