Research Papers:

Re-expression of miR-200c suppresses proliferation, colony formation and in vivo tumor growth of murine claudin-low mammary tumor cells

Robert Jones, Katrina Watson, Anthony Bruce, Sarah Nersesian, Jenna Kitz and Roger Moorehead _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:23727-23749. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.15829

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Robert Jones1, Katrina Watson1, Anthony Bruce1, Sarah Nersesian1, Jenna Kitz1, Roger Moorehead1

1Department of Biomedical Science, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Correspondence to:

Roger Moorehead, email: [email protected]

Keywords: microRNA, miR-200f, miR-200c, mammary tumors, claudin-low

Received: August 15, 2016     Accepted: February 06, 2017     Published: March 02, 2017


Claudin-low breast cancer is a relatively rare breast cancer subtype. These cancers are typically ER-/PR-/HER2- and express high levels of mesenchymal genes as well as genes associated with inflammation, angiogenesis and stem cell function. In addition to alterations in gene expression, it was recently demonstrated that claudin-low breast cancers express very low levels of the miR-200 family of miRNAs. Given that each miRNA can regulate tens, hundreds or even thousands of genes, miRNAs are being evaluated as therapeutic targets. In this study we show that mammary tumors from MTB-IGFIR transgenic mice and cell lines derived from these tumors represent a model of human claudin-low breast cancer and murine claudin-low mammary tumors and cell lines express only very low levels of all five members of the miR-200 family. Reduced miR-200 family expression appears to be regulated via methylation as cells and tumors expressing low levels of miR-200 family members had higher levels of CpG methylation in a putative promoter region than tumors and cells expressing high levels of miR-200 family members. Re-expression of miR-200c in murine claudin-low mammary tumor cells inhibited tumor cell proliferation and colony formation in vitro and tumor growth in vivo. With respect to tumor growth in vivo, re-expression of miR-200c was associated with a reduction in tumor vasculature and expression of Flt1 and Vegfc. Therefore, miR-200c is an important regulator of mesenchymal tumor cell growth.

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