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PLoS One. 2012;7(12):e50895. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0050895. Epub 2012 Dec 7.

MiR-27a functions as a tumor suppressor in acute leukemia by regulating 14-3-3θ.

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Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


MicroRNAs (miRs) play major roles in normal hematopoietic differentiation and hematopoietic malignancies. In this work, we report that miR-27a, and its coordinately expressed cluster (miR-23a∼miR-27a∼miR-24-2), was down-regulated in acute leukemia cell lines and primary samples compared to hematopoietic stem-progenitor cells (HSPCs). Decreased miR-23a cluster expression in some acute leukemia cell lines was mediated by c-MYC. Replacement of miR-27a in acute leukemia cell lines inhibited cell growth due, at least in part, to increased cellular apoptosis. We identified a member of the anti-apoptotic 14-3-3 family of proteins, which support cell survival by interacting with and negatively regulating pro-apoptotic proteins such as Bax and Bad, as a target of miR-27a. Specifically, miR-27a regulated 14-3-3θ at both the mRNA and protein levels. These data indicate that miR-27a contributes a tumor suppressor-like activity in acute leukemia cells via regulation of apoptosis, and that miR-27a and 14-3-3θ may be potential therapeutic targets.

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