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Carcinogenesis. 2013 Feb;34(2):426-35. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgs333. Epub 2012 Oct 26.

miR-15a and miR-16 affect the angiogenesis of multiple myeloma by targeting VEGF.

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Institute of Hematology, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, China.


Deregulated microRNAs (miRNAs) and their roles in cancer development have attracted much attention. Two miRNAs, miR-15a and miR-16, which act as putative tumor suppressor by targeting the oncogene BCL2, have been implicated in cell cycle, apoptosis and proliferation. In this study, we investigated the possible role of miR-15a/16 in the angiogenesis of multiple myeloma (MM). Using a stem-loop quantitative reverse transcription-PCR, we analyzed miR-15a/16 expressions in bone marrow samples from newly diagnosed MM patients and a panel of MM cell lines. miRNA transfection, western blotting analysis and assay of luciferase activity were used to examine whether vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is the target of miR-15a/16. The functional roles of miR-15a/16 on tumorigenesis and angiogenesis were examined by in vitro angiogenesis models and in vivo tumor xenograft model. We showed that miR-15a and miR-16 were significantly underexpressed in primary MM cells as well as in MM cell lines. The aberrant expression of miR-15a/16 was detected especially in advanced stage MM. In human MM cell lines and normal plasma cells, expression of miR-15a/16 inversely correlated with the expression of VEGF-A. Western blotting combined with the luciferase reporter assay demonstrated that VEGF-A was a direct target of miR-15a/16. Ectopic overexpression of miR-15a/16 led to decreased pro-angiogenic activity of MM cells. Finally, infection of lentivirus-miR-15a or lentivirus-miR-16 resulted in significant inhibition of tumor growth and angiogenesis in nude mice. This study suggest that miR-15a/16 could play a role in the tumorigenesis of MM at least in part by modulation of angiogenesis through targeting VEGF-A.

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