Research Papers:

Dysregulation of the miR-34a-SIRT1 axis inhibits breast cancer stemness

Wei Ma, Gary Guishan Xiao, Jun Mao, Ying Lu, Bo Song, Lihui Wang, Shujun Fan, Panhong Fan, Zhenhuan Hou, Jiazhi Li, Xiaotang Yu, Bo Wang, Huan Wang, Honghai Wang, Fei Xu, Yan Li, Qiang Liu and Lianhong Li _

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:10432-10444. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.3394

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Wei Ma1,6, Gary Guishan Xiao2,4, Jun Mao1,3, Ying Lu1, Bo Song1, Lihui Wang1, Shujun Fan3, Panhong Fan1, Zhenhuan Hou1, Jiazhi Li1, Xiaotang Yu1, Bo Wang1, Huan Wang3, Honghai Wang1, Fei Xu6, Yan Li6, Qiang Liu5, Lianhong Li1,3

1Department of Pathology, Dalian Medical University, Dalian 116044, China

2School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China

3The Key Laboratory of Tumor Stem Cell Research of Liaoning Province, Dalian Medical University, Dalian 116044, China

4Genomics and Functional Proteomics Laboratories, Departments of Medicine and Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Creighton University Medical Center, NE 68131, USA

5Institute of Cancer Stem Cell, Dalian Medical University, Dalian 116044, China

6Department of Human Anatomy, Dalian Medical University, Dalian 116044, China

Correspondence to:

Lianhong Li, e-mail: [email protected]

Gary Guishan Xiao, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: miR-34α, SIRT1, CD44+/CD24 BCSCs, stemness

Received: December 16, 2014     Accepted: February 16, 2015     Published: March 18, 2015


Enforced expression of miR-34a eliminates cancer stem cells in some malignant tumors. Sirtuin-1 (SIRT1) is a direct target of miR-34a. Here we found low levels of miR-34a and high levels of SIRT1 in CD44+/CD24 breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs). MiR-34a overexpression and knockdown of SIRT1 decreased proportion of BSCSs and mammosphere formation. Expression of CSC markers, ALDH1, BMI1 and Nanog was decreased. In nude mice xenografts, stable expression of miR-34a and silencing of SIRT1 reduced tumor burden. Taken together, our results demonstrated that miR-34a inhibits proliferative potential of BCSCs in vitro and in vivo, at least partially by downregulating SIRT1. The miR-34a-SIRT1 axis may play role in self-renewal of BCSCs.

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