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Nat Commun. 2011 Nov 22;2:554. doi: 10.1038/ncomms1555.

Genome-wide functional screening of miR-23b as a pleiotropic modulator suppressing cancer metastasis.

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Biomedical Engineering Department, College of Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China.


miRNA globally deregulates human carcinoma. A critical open question is how many miRNAs functionally participate in cancer development, particularly in metastasis. We systematically evaluate the capability of all known human miRNAs to regulate certain metastasis-relevant cell behaviours. To perform the high-throughput screen of miRNAs, which regulate cell migration, we developed a novel self-assembled cell microarray. Here we show that over 20% of miRNAs have migratory regulation activity in diverse cell types, indicating a general involvement of miRNAs in migratory regulation. MiR-23b, which is downregulated in human colon cancer samples, potently mediates the multiple steps of metastasis, including tumour growth, invasion and angiogenesis in vivo. It regulates a cohort of prometastatic targets, including FZD7 or MAP3k1. These findings provide new insight into the physiological and potential therapeutic importance of miRNAs as a new class of functional modulators.

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