Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2011;6(8):e23787. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0023787. Epub 2011 Aug 25.

miR-143 overexpression impairs growth of human colon carcinoma xenografts in mice with induction of apoptosis and inhibition of proliferation.

Author information

Research Institute for Medicines and Pharmaceutical Sciences-iMed.UL, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal.



MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are aberrantly expressed in human cancer and involved in the (dys)regulation of cell survival, proliferation, differentiation and death. Specifically, miRNA-143 (miR-143) is down-regulated in human colon cancer. In the present study, we evaluated the role of miR-143 overexpression on the growth of human colon carcinoma cells xenografted in nude mice (immunodeficient mouse strain: N: NIH(s) II-nu/nu).


HCT116 cells with stable miR-143 overexpression (Over-143) and control (Empty) cells were subcutaneously injected into the flanks of nude mice, and tumor growth was evaluated over time. Tumors arose ∼ 14 days after tumor cell implantation, and the experiment was ended at 40 days after implantation. miR-143 was confirmed to be significantly overexpressed in Over-143 versus Empty xenografts, by TaqMan® Real-time PCR (p<0.05). Importantly, Over-143 xenografts displayed slower tumor growth compared to Empty xenografts from 23 until 40 days in vivo (p<0.05), with final volumes of 928±338 and 2512±387 mm(3), respectively. Evaluation of apoptotic proteins showed that Over-143 versus Empty xenografts displayed reduced Bcl-2 levels, and increased caspase-3 activation and PARP cleavage (p<0.05). In addition, the incidence of apoptotic tumor cells, assessed by TUNEL, was increased in Over-143 versus Empty xenografts (p<0.01). Finally, Over-143 versus Empty xenografts displayed significantly reduced NF-κB activation and ERK5 levels and activation (p<0.05), as well as reduced proliferative index, evaluated by Ki-67 immunohistochemistry (p<0.01).


Our results suggest that reduced tumor volume in Over-143 versus Empty xenografts may result from increased apoptosis and decreased proliferation induced by miR-143. This reinforces the relevance of miR-143 in colon cancer, indicating an important role in the control of in vivo tumor progression, and suggesting that miR-143 may constitute a putative novel therapeutic tool for colon cancer treatment that warrants further investigation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center