Accumulating evidence suggests that microRNAs (miRNAs) are important gene regulators, which can have critical roles in diverse biological processes including tumorigenesis. In this study, researchers from Nanjing University School of Medicine analyzed the miRNA expression profiles in non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) by use of a miRNA microarray platform and identified 40 differentially expressed miRNAs.
They showed that miRNA (miR)-451 was the most downregulated in NSCLC tissues. The expression level of miR-451 was found to be significantly correlated with tumor differentiation, pathological stage and lymph-node metastasis. Moreover, low miR-451 expression level was also correlated with shorter overall survival of NSCLC patients (P<0.001). Ectopic miR-451 expression significantly suppressed the in vitro proliferation and colony formation of NSCLC cells and the development of tumors in nude mice by enhancing apoptosis, which might be associated with inactivation of Akt signaling pathway. Interestingly, ectopic miR-451 expression could significantly inhibit RAB14 protein expression and decrease a luciferase-reporter activity containing the RAB14 3′-untranslated region (UTR). In addition, RNA interference silencing of RAB14 gene could recapitulate the tumor suppressor function of miR-451, whereas restoration of RAB14 expression could partially attenuate the tumor suppressor function of miR-451 in NSCLC cells. Furthermore, they also showed that strong positive immunoreactivity of RAB14 protein was significantly associated with downregulation of miR-451 (P=0.01).
These findings suggest that miR-451 regulates survival of NSCLC cells partially through the downregulation of RAB14. Therefore, targeting with the miR-451/RAB14 interaction might serve as a novel therapeutic application to treat NSCLC patients.
Wang R, Wang ZX, Yang JS, Pan X, De W, Chen LB. (2011) MicroRNA-451 functions as a tumor suppressor in human non-small cell lung cancer by targeting ras-related protein 14 (RAB14). Oncogene [Epub ahead of print]. [abstract]