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PLoS One. 2017 Sep 8;12(9):e0184471. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0184471. eCollection 2017.

Genome-wide miRNA response to anacardic acid in breast cancer cells.

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Department of Biology, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, United States of America.
Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, Kentucky, United States of America.
Bioinformatics and Biomedical Computing Laboratory, Department of Computer Engineering and Computer Science, Louisville, Kentucky, United States of America.
Department of Medicine, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, Kentucky, United States of America.


MicroRNAs are biomarkers and potential therapeutic targets for breast cancer. Anacardic acid (AnAc) is a dietary phenolic lipid that inhibits both MCF-7 estrogen receptor α (ERα) positive and MDA-MB-231 triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) cell proliferation with IC50s of 13.5 and 35 μM, respectively. To identify potential mediators of AnAc action in breast cancer, we profiled the genome-wide microRNA transcriptome (microRNAome) in these two cell lines altered by the AnAc 24:1n5 congener. Whole genome expression profiling (RNA-seq) and subsequent network analysis in MetaCore Gene Ontology (GO) algorithm was used to characterize the biological pathways altered by AnAc. In MCF-7 cells, 69 AnAc-responsive miRNAs were identified, e.g., increased let-7a and reduced miR-584. Fewer, i.e., 37 AnAc-responsive miRNAs were identified in MDA-MB-231 cells, e.g., decreased miR-23b and increased miR-1257. Only two miRNAs were increased by AnAc in both cell lines: miR-612 and miR-20b; however, opposite miRNA arm preference was noted: miR-20b-3p and miR-20b-5p were upregulated in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231, respectively. miR-20b-5p target EFNB2 transcript levels were reduced by AnAc in MDA-MB-231 cells. AnAc reduced miR-378g that targets VIM (vimentin) and VIM mRNA transcript expression was increased in AnAc-treated MCF-7 cells, suggesting a reciprocal relationship. The top three enriched GO terms for AnAc-treated MCF-7 cells were B cell receptor signaling pathway and ribosomal large subunit biogenesis and S-adenosylmethionine metabolic process for AnAc-treated MDA-MB-231 cells. The pathways modulated by these AnAc-regulated miRNAs suggest that key nodal molecules, e.g., Cyclin D1, MYC, c-FOS, PPARγ, and SIN3, are targets of AnAc activity.

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