Oncotarget

Research Papers:

MicroRNA-182 drives colonization and macroscopic metastasis via targeting its suppressor SNAI1 in breast cancer

Yun Zhan, Xukun Li, Xiaoshuan Liang, Lin Li, Bangrong Cao, Baona Wang, Jianlin Ma, Fang Ding, Xiang Wang, Da Pang and Zhihua Liu _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:4629-4641. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.13542

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Abstract

Yun Zhan1,4,*, Xukun Li1,*, Xiaoshuan Liang2, Lin Li1, Bangrong Cao1, Baona Wang3, Jianlin Ma1, Fang Ding1, Xiang Wang3, Da Pang2, Zhihua Liu1

1State Key Laboratory of Molecular Oncology, National Cancer Center/Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China

2Department of Breast Surgery, Harbin Medical University Cancer Hospital, Harbin, China

3Department of Breast Surgery, National Cancer Center/Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China

4State Key Laboratory of Bioactive Substances and Function of Natural Medicine, Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Zhihua Liu, email: liuzh@cicams.ac.cn

Keywords: miR-182, SNAI1, colonization, metastasis, breast cancer

Received: June 15, 2016    Accepted: November 07, 2016    Published: November 24, 2016

ABSTRACT

Metastasis is a multi-step process. Tumor cells occur epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) to start metastasis, then, they need to undergo a reverse progression of EMT, mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET), to colonize and form macrometastases at distant organs to complete the whole process of metastasis. Although microRNAs (miRNAs) functions in EMT process are well established, their influence on colonization and macrometastases formation remains unclear. Here, we established an EMT model in MCF-10A cells with SNAI1 overexpression, and characterized some EMT-related microRNAs. We identified that miR-182, which was directly suppressed by SNAI1, could enable an epithelial-like state in breast cancer cells in vitro, and enhance colonization and macrometastases in vivo. Subsequent studies showed that miR-182 exerted its function through targeting its suppressor SNAI1. Moreover, higher expression level of miR-182 was detected in metastatic lymph nodes, compared with paired primary tumor tissues. In addition, the expression level of miR-182 was negatively correlated with that of SNAI1 in these clinical specimens. Taking together, our findings describe the role of miR-182 in colonization and macrometastases in breast cancer for the first time, and provide a promise for diagnosis or therapy of breast cancer metastasis.


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