Research Papers:

The proto-oncogene KRAS is targeted by miR-200c

Florian Kopp, Ernst Wagner and Andreas Roidl _

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Oncotarget. 2014; 5:185-195. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.1427

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Florian Kopp1, Ernst Wagner1 and Andreas Roidl1

1 Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Department of Pharmacy, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Munich, Germany


Andreas Roidl, email:

Keywords: breast cancer, lung cancer, miRNA, K-ras, cell cycle, proliferation

Received: September 20, 2013 Accepted: November 22, 2013 Published: November 24, 2013


The GTPase K-ras is involved in a variety of cellular processes such as differentiation, proliferation and survival. However, activating mutations, which frequently occur in many types of cancer, turn KRAS into one of the most prominent oncogenes. Likewise, miR-200c is a key player in tumorigenesis functioning as a molecular switch between an epithelial, non-migratory, chemosensitive and a mesenchymal, migratory, chemoresistant state. While it has been reported that KRAS is modulated by several tumor suppressor miRNAs, this is the first report on the regulation of KRAS by miR-200c, both playing a pivotal role in oncogenesis. We show that KRAS is a predicted target of miR-200c and that the protein expression of KRAS inversely correlates with the miR-200c expression in a panel of human breast cancer cell lines. KRAS was experimentally validated as a target of miR-200c by Western blot analyses and luciferase reporter assays. Furthermore, the inhibitory effect of miR-200c-dependent KRAS silencing on proliferation and cell cycle was demonstrated in different breast and lung cancer cell lines. Thereby, the particular role of KRAS was dissected from the role of all the other miR-200c targets by specific knockdown experiments using siRNA against KRAS. Cell lines harboring an activating KRAS mutation were similarly affected by miR-200c as well as by the siRNA against KRAS. However, in a cell line with wild-type KRAS only miR-200c was able to change proliferation and cell cycle. Our findings suggest that miR-200c is a potent inhibitor of tumor progression and therapy resistance, by regulating a multitude of oncogenic pathways including the RAS pathway. Thus, miR-200c may cause stronger anti-tumor effects than a specific siRNA against KRAS, emphasizing the potential role of miR-200c as tumor suppressive miRNA

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