Research Papers:

Tanshinones suppress AURKA through up-regulation of miR-32 expression in non-small cell lung cancer

Zhong-Liang Ma _, Bing-Jie Zhang, De-Tao Wang, Xue Li, Jia-Li Wei, Bo-Tao Zhao, Yan Jin, Yan-Li Li and You-Xin Jin

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:20111-20120. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.3933

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Zhong-Liang Ma1,*, Bing-Jie Zhang1,*, De-Tao Wang1, Xue Li1, Jia-Li Wei1, Bo-Tao Zhao1, Yan Jin2, Yan-Li Li1, You-Xin Jin1,3

1School of Life Sciences, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200444, China

2Institute of Biomedicine and Biotechnology, Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen 518055, China

3State Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200031, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

You-Xin Jin, e-mail: [email protected]

Yan-Li Li, e-mail: [email protected]

Yan Jin, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: tanshinone, AURKA, miRNA, non-small cell lung cancer

Received: January 26, 2015     Accepted: May 04, 2015     Published: May 14, 2015


Tanshinone is the liposoluble constituent of Salia miltiorrhiza, a root used in traditional herbal medicine which is known to possess certain health benefits. Although it is known that tanshinones, including tanshinone I (T1), tanshinone IIA (T2A), and cryptotanshinone (CT), can inhibit the growth of lung cancer cells in vitro, the mechanism under which they act is still unclear. AURKA, an oncogene, encodes a serine-threonine kinase which regulates mitotic processes in mammalian cells. Here, we reported that tanshinones mediate AURKA suppression partly through up-regulating the expression of miR-32. We found that tanshinones could inhibit cell proliferation, promote apoptosis, and impede cell-cycle progression, thus performing an antineoplastic function in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Additionally, we demonstrated that tanshinones attained these effects in part by down-regulating AURKA, corroborating previous reports. Our results showed that in NSCLC, similar effects were obtained with knock-down of the AURKA gene by siRNA. We also verified that AURKA was the direct target of miR-32. Collectively, our results demonstrated that tanshinones could inhibit NSCLC by suppressing AURKA via up-regulating the expressions of miR-32 and other related miRNAs.

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