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Oncol Lett. 2017 Nov;14(5):5994-6000. doi: 10.3892/ol.2017.6930. Epub 2017 Sep 14.

MicroRNA-10a suppresses breast cancer progression via PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway.

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Department of General Surgery, Ningbo First Hospital, Ningbo, Zhejiang 315010, P.R. China.
Department of Breast Surgery, Ningbo Hangzhou Bay Hospital, Ningbo, Zhejiang 315336, P.R. China.


Previous studies have demonstrated that microRNA-10a (miR-10a) regulates various opposing biological functions in breast cancer. The aim of the present study was to investigate the exact functions of miR-10a in the pathogenesis of breast cancer. miR-10a expression was initially detected in two human breast cancer cell lines, MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 and a normal human mammary epithelial cell line MCF-10A. The proliferation, migration and apoptosis of breast cancer cells were analyzed using MTT assays, Transwell assays and flow cytometry, respectively, following transfection of MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells with an miR-10a mimic or anti-miR-10a. The expression of phosphorylated (p-)protein kinase B (Akt), p-mammalian target of rapamycin (p-mTOR), p-ribosomal protein S6 kinase β-1 (p-p70S6K), phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase catalytic subunit α (PIK3CA), Cytochrome C (Cyt C), B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2), BCL-2 associated X, apoptosis regulator (Bax), and cleaved caspase-3 were analyzed by western blotting. The migration of MCF-7 cells pretreated with an mTOR inhibitor CCI-779, was detected using a Transwell assay. Relative miR-10a expression was significantly elevated in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells and was at its highest levels in MCF-7 cells. Transfection with the miR-10a mimic significantly inhibited proliferation and migration, and promoted the apoptosis of breast cancer cells. Furthermore, upregulation of miR-10a markedly suppressed the levels of p-Akt, p-mTOR, p-p70S6K, and PIK3CA, and increased the expression of Cyt C, cleaved caspase-3, and the ratio of Bax/Bcl-2. Anti-miR-10a had the opposite effects. In addition, CCI-779 reversed the effect of anti-miR-10a on the migration of MCF-7 cells in a dose-dependent manner. In conclusion, miR-10a is downregulated in high aggressive breast cancer cells. miR-10a inhibited the proliferation and migration, and promoted apoptosis of breast cancer cells via phosphoinositide/Akt/mTOR signaling, and the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway.


breast cancer; microRNA-10a; mitochondrial apoptotic pathway; phosphoinositide-3/protein kinase B/mammalian target of rapamycin

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