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Genes Cancer. 2013 Jul;4(7-8):285-96. doi: 10.1177/1947601913500141.

MicroRNA 203 Modulates Glioma Cell Migration via Robo1/ERK/MMP-9 Signaling.

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Section of Hematology/Oncology, University of Illinois Cancer Center, College of Medicine at Chicago, IL, USA.


Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common and malignant primary adult brain cancer. Allelic deletion on chromosome 14q plays an important role in the pathogenesis of GBM, and this site was thought to harbor multiple tumor suppressor genes associated with GBM, a region that also encodes microRNA-203 (miR-203). In this study, we sought to identify the role of miR-203 as a tumor suppressor in the pathogenesis of GBM. We analyzed the miR-203 expression data of GBM patients in 10 normal and 495 tumor tissue samples derived from The Cancer Genome Atlas data set. Quantitative real-time PCR and in situ hybridization in 10 high-grade GBM and 10 low-grade anaplastic astrocytoma tumor samples showed decreased levels of miR-203 expression in anaplastic astrocytoma and GBM tissues and cell lines. Exogenous expression of miR-203 using a plasmid expressing miR-203 precursor (pmiR-203) suppressed glioma cell proliferation, migration, and invasion. We determined that one relevant target of miR-203 was Robo1, given that miR-203 expression decreased mRNA and protein levels as determined by RT-PCR and Western blot analysis. Moreover, cotransfection experiments using a luciferase-based transcription reporter assay have shown direct regulation of Robo1 by miR-203. We also show that Robo1 mediates miR-203 mediated antimigratory functions as up-regulation of Robo1 abrogates miR-203 mediated antimigratory effects. We also show that miR-203 expression suppressed ERK phosphorylation and MMP-9 expression in glioma cells. Furthermore, we demonstrate that miR-203 inhibits migration of the glioma cells by disrupting the Robo1/ERK/MMP-9 signaling axis. Taken together, these studies demonstrate that up-regulation of Robo1 in response to the decrease in miR-203 in glioma cells is responsible for glioma tumor cell migration and invasion.


Robo1; cell migration; glioma; invasion; miR-203

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