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PLoS One. 2014 Jan 6;9(1):e84859. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0084859. eCollection 2014.

miR-223 is a coordinator of breast cancer progression as revealed by bioinformatics predictions.

Author information

1
Molecular Biotechnology Center (MBC), University of Torino, Torino, Italy ; Department of Molecular Biotechnology and Health Sciences, University of Torino, Torino, Italy.
2
Molecular Biotechnology Center (MBC), University of Torino, Torino, Italy ; Department of Molecular Biotechnology and Health Sciences, University of Torino, Torino, Italy ; Center for Molecular Systems Biology, University of Torino, Torino, Italy.
3
Molecular Biotechnology Center (MBC), University of Torino, Torino, Italy.
4
Department of Medical Sciences, University of Torino, Torino, Italy.
5
Molecular Biotechnology Center (MBC), University of Torino, Torino, Italy ; Department of Molecular Biotechnology and Health Sciences, University of Torino, Torino, Italy ; Center for Translational Genomics and Bioinformatics, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy.

Abstract

MicroRNAs are single-stranded non-coding RNAs that simultaneously down-modulate the expression of multiple genes post-transcriptionally by binding to the 3'UTRs of target mRNAs. Here we used computational methods to predict microRNAs relevant in breast cancer progression. Specifically, we applied different microRNA target prediction algorithms to various groups of differentially expressed protein-coding genes obtained from four breast cancer datasets. Six potential candidates were identified, among them miR-223, previously described to be highly expressed in the tumor microenvironment and known to be actively transferred into breast cancer cells. To investigate the function of miR-223 in tumorigenesis and to define its molecular mechanism, we overexpressed miR-223 in breast cancer cells in a transient or stable manner. Alternatively we overexpressed miR-223 in mouse embryonic fibroblasts or HEK293 cells and used their conditioned medium to treat tumor cells. With both approaches, we obtained elevated levels of miR-223 in tumor cells and observed decreased migration, increased cell death in anoikis conditions and augmented sensitivity to chemotherapy but no effect on adhesion and proliferation. The analysis of miR-223 predicted targets revealed enrichment in cell death and survival-related genes and in pathways frequently altered in breast cancer. Among these genes, we showed that protein levels for STAT5A, ITGA3 and NRAS were modulated by miR-223. In addition, we proved that STAT5A is a direct miR-223 target and highlighted a possible correlation between miR-223 and STAT5A in migration and chemotherapy response. Our investigation revealed that a computational analysis of cancer gene expression datasets can be a relevant tool to identify microRNAs involved in cancer progression and that miR-223 has a prominent role in breast malignancy that could potentially be exploited therapeutically.

PMID:
24400121
PMCID:
PMC3882278
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0084859
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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