Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Biochemistry
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are non-coding small RNAs that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level by interacting with the 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR) of a target gene. Our previous studies indicate that miR-145 is downregulated in breast and colon cancer; moreover, it functions as a tumor suppressor capable of inhibiting tumor cell growth both in vitro and in vivo. In this study, we show that a putative tumor suppressor, miR-145, is regulated through the phosphoinositide-3 kinase (PI-3K)/Akt and p53 pathways. Importantly, p53 transcriptionally induces the expression of miR-145 by interacting with a potential p53 response element (p53RE) in the miR-145 promoter. We further show that c-Myc is a direct target for miR-145. Although miR-145 silences the expression of c-Myc, anti-miR-145 enhances its expression. This specific silencing of c-Myc by miR-145 accounts at least in part for the miR-145- mediated inhibition of tumor cell growth both in vitro and in vivo. Finally, the blockade of miR-145 by anti-miR-145 is able to reverse the p53-mediated c-Myc repression. Together, these results define the role of miR-145 in the posttranscriptional regulation of c-Myc by p53. in addition, we show that miR-145 exerts its growth inhibitory function in a cell-specific manner. Although miR-145 inhibits cell growth in MCF-7 and HCT-116 cells, it has no significant effect on cell growth in metastatic breast cancer cell lines. However, miR-145 significantly suppresses cell invasion in these cells; in contrast, the antisense oligo against miR-145 increases cell invasion. miR-145 is also able to suppress lung metastasis in an experimental metastasis animal model. This miR-145-mediated suppression of cell invasion is in part due to the silencing of the metastasis gene mucin 1 (MUC1). Using luciferase reporters carrying the 3′-untranslated region of MUC1 combined with Western blot and immunofluorescence staining, we identify MUC1 as a direct target of miR-145. Moreover, ectopic expression of MUC1 enhances cell invasion, which can be blocked by miR-145. Of interest, suppression of MUC1 by miR-145 causes a reduction of β catenin as well as the oncogenic cadherin 11. Finally, suppression of MUC1 by RNAi mimics the miR-145 action in suppression of invasion, which is associated with downregulation of β-catenin and cadherin 11. Taken together, these results suggest that as a tumor suppressor, miR-145 inhibits not only tumor growth but also cell invasion and metastasis.
This dissertation is only
available for download to the SIUC community. Others should contact the
interlibrary loan department of your local library or contact ProQuest's Dissertation Express service.