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Cell Physiol Biochem. 2013;31(6):823-32. doi: 10.1159/000350100. Epub 2013 Jun 4.

MicroRNA-124 suppresses breast cancer cell growth and motility by targeting CD151.

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State Key Laboratory of Experimental Hematology, Institute of Hematology and Hospital of Blood Diseases, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, 288 Nan Jing Road, Tianjin, P. R. China.



CD151 is highly expressed in breast cancer cells and has been shown to accelerate breast cancer by enhancing cell growth and motility, but its regulation is poorly understood. To explore post-translation regulation of CD151, for example microRNAs, will be of great importance to claim the mechanism.


A luciferase reporter assay was used to determine whether CD151 was a target of miR-124. The levels of CD151 mRNA were detected by real-time PCR and CD151 protein expression was measured by western blot and flow cytometry. The effects of miR-124 expression on growth, apoptosis, cell cycle and motility of breast cancer cells were determined.


We discovered that miR-124 directly targets the 3' untranslated region (3'-UTR) of CD151 mRNAs and suppresses its mRNA expression and protein translation. Both siRNA of CD151 and miR-124 mimics could significantly inhibit proliferation of breast cancer cell lines via cell cycle arrest but does not induce apoptosis. Meanwhile, miR-124 mimics significantly inhibited the motility of breast cancer cells.


miR-124 plays a critical role in inhibiting the invasive and metastatic potential of breast cancer cells, probably by directly targeting the CD151 genes. Our findings highlight an important role of miR-124 in the regulation of invasion and metastasis by breast cancer cells and suggest a potential application for miR-124 in breast cancer treatment.

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