Locus Summary

Gene:MIR125A; microRNA 125a
Aliases: MIRN125A, mir-125a, miRNA125A
Summary:microRNAs (miRNAs) are short (20-24 nt) non-coding RNAs that are involved in post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression in multicellular organisms by affecting both the stability and translation of mRNAs. miRNAs are transcribed by RNA polymerase II as part of capped and polyadenylated primary transcripts (pri-miRNAs) that can be either protein-coding or non-coding. The primary transcript is cleaved by the Drosha ribonuclease III enzyme to produce an approximately 70-nt stem-loop precursor miRNA (pre-miRNA), which is further cleaved by the cytoplasmic Dicer ribonuclease to generate the mature miRNA and antisense miRNA star (miRNA*) products. The mature miRNA is incorporated into a RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC), which recognizes target mRNAs through imperfect base pairing with the miRNA and most commonly results in translational inhibition or destabilization of the target mRNA. The RefSeq represents the predicted microRNA stem-loop. [provided by RefSeq, Sep 2009]
Databases:miRBase, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 30 August, 2019

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 30 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

Tag cloud generated 30 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (8)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

MicroRNA Function

Numbers shown below represent number of publications held in OncomiRDB database for Oncogenic and Tumor-Suppressive MicroRNAs.

TissueTarget Gene(s)Regulator(s)MIR125A Function in CancerEffect
lung (4)
-lung cancer (2)
-non-small cell lung cancer (1)
EGFR (1)
suppress cell proliferation (1)
induce apoptosis (1)
promote cell invasion (1)
promote cell migration (1)
inhibit cell migration (1)
inhibit cell invasion (1)
tumor-suppressive (3)
liver (2)
-hepatocellular carcinoma (1)
SIRT7 (1)
TP53 (1)
DNA methlyation (1)
induce cell cycle G phase arrest (1)
brain (2)
-glioblastoma (1)
-medulloblastoma (1)
PDPN (1)
NTRK3 (1)
induce apoptosis (2)
inhibit cell invasion (1)
inhibit cell proliferation (1)
inhibit cell growth (1)
tumor-suppressive (2)
nerve (1)
-neuroblastoma (1)
NTRK3 (1)
inhibit cell growth (1)
tumor-suppressive (1)
blood (1)
-diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (1)
NF-kB (1)
promote NF-kB signaling (1)
breast (1)
-breast cancer (1)
ERBB2 (1)
ERBB3 (1)
inhibit cell growth (1)
inhibit cell migration (1)
inhibit cell invasion (1)
tumor-suppressive (1)
ovary (1)
-ovarian cancer (1)
EGFR (1)
ETV4 (1)
inhibit epithelial-mesenchymal transition (1)
tumor-suppressive (1)

Source: OncomiRDB Wang D. et al. Bioinformatics 2014, 30(15):2237-2238.

Latest Publications: MIR125A (cancer-related)

Ye H, Zhu W, Mei L, Lu Z
Prognostic and clinicopathologic significance of MicroRNA-125a-5p in cancers: A meta-analysis.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2019; 98(31):e16685 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of the study was to estimate the prognostic and clinicopathologic significance of miR-125a-5p in human cancers. Eligible studies were obtained from PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Library. Combined hazard ratios (HRs) and odds ratios (ORs) were used to evaluate the prognostic and clinicopathologic value of miR-125a-5p. In pan-cancer, high miR-125a-5p expression was associated with better overall survival (OS) (HR = 0.459, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.369-0.57, P < .001), and disease-free survival (HR = 0.343, 95% CI: 0.237-0.496, P < .001). Furthermore, favorable OS was also found in lung cancer (HR = 0.343, 95% CI: 0.228-0.517, P < .001) and gastric cancer (HR = 0.341, 95% CI: 0.160-0.725, P = .005) patients with high miR-125a-5p expression. Besides, high miR-125a-5p expression was correlated with early stage (OR = 0.413, 95% CI: 0.228-0.749, P = .004) and negative lymph node metastasis (OR = 0.262, 95% CI: 0.073-0.941, P = .04) in gastric cancer, and was linked with better tumor differentiation in pan-cancer (OR = 1.623, 95% CI: 1.064-2.476, P = .025) and lung cancer (OR = 2.371, 95% CI: 1.358-4.141, P = .002). In conclusion, miR-125a-5p is a tumor suppressor with prognostic and clinicopathologic values for human cancer, and miR-125a-5p overexpression predicted favorable prognosis, early stage, negative lymph node metastasis, and better tumor differentiation. More research should be conducted to test these results.

Li Z, Tan H, Zhao W, et al.
Integrative analysis of DNA methylation and gene expression profiles identifies MIR4435-2HG as an oncogenic lncRNA for glioma progression.
Gene. 2019; 715:144012 [PubMed] Related Publications
Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been shown to play an important role in tumor biogenesis and prognosis. The glioma is a grade classified cancer, however, we still lack the knowledge on their function during glioma progression. While previous studies have shown how lncRNAs regulate protein-coding gene epigenetically, it is still unclear how lncRNAs are regulated epigenetically. In this study, we firstly analyzed the RNA-seq data systematically across grades II, IV, and IV of glioma samples. We identified 60 lncRNAs that are significantly differentially expressed over disease progression (DElncRNA), including well-known PVT1, HOTAIR, H19 and rarely studied CARD8-AS, MIR4435-2HG. Secondly, by integrating HM450K methylation microarray data, we demonstrated that some of the lncRNAs are epigenetically regulated by methylation. Thirdly, we developed a DESeq2-GSEA-ceRNA-survival analysis strategy to investigate their functions. Particularly, MIR4435-2HG is highly expressed in high-grade glioma and may have an impact on EMT and TNFα signaling pathway by functioning as a miRNA sponge of miR-125a-5p and miR-125b-5p to increase the expression of CD44. Our results revealed the dynamic expression of lncRNAs in glioma progression and their epigenetic regulation mechanism.

Ahmadvand M, Eskandari M, Khakpour G, et al.
Identification of MiR-125a as a Novel Plasma Diagnostic Biomarker for Chronic Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
Clin Lab. 2019; 65(3) [PubMed] Related Publications
Background: Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a type of malignancy in which the bone marrow makes too many lymphocytes. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous short (~22-nucleotides) non-protein-coding regulatory RNA molecules with key roles in cellular and molecular processes linked to different cancers including CLL. Re-cently, some investigations have demonstrated that miR-125a downregulation is correlated with the expression of P53, NRG1 and ERBB2. Methods: In this study, samples including 38 patients with CLL and 25 healthy individuals were collected. We used quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) to assess the expression of miR-125a in plasma of the CLL patients in comparison with healthy controls. Moreover, we used the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) signaling pathway analysis on miR-125a targets in the DAVID database in order to investigate the potential role of miR-125a in cancer pathways. MiR-125a exerted a variety of roles in the cancer pathway via downregulating target genes including ERBB2. Results: The expression of miR-125a dramatically decreased (~2-fold) in the patients with CLL compared with the healthy controls (p = 0.03). Furthermore, overexpression of miR-125a was associated with different CLL staging and B symptoms (all at p < 0.05). The KEGG pathway enrichment analysis demonstrated the eight statistically related KEGG signaling pathways with miR-125a targetome. Conclusions: The results suggested that the miR-125a expression level could be a novel potential biomarker for CLL prognosis.

Li G, Zhu Y
Effect of lncRNA ANRIL knockdown on proliferation and cisplatin chemoresistance of osteosarcoma cells in vitro.
Pathol Res Pract. 2019; 215(5):931-938 [PubMed] Related Publications
Chemoresistance is a major obstacle in treating cancer, including osteosarcoma. LncRNA ANRIL (ANRIL) is involved in the growth and metastasis of osteosarcoma cells, however, its role in chemoresistance remains unclear. In this study, ANRIL shRNA was used to knock down its endogenous expression in U2-OS and Saos-2 osteosarcoma cell lines. Our data showed that ANRIL-silenced cells were more sensitive to cisplatin: apoptotic ratio was increased and cleaved caspase-3 level was upregulated. Furthermore, the expression level of miR-125a-5p, a microRNA that can bind to ANRIL, was elevated in ANRIL-silenced cells. MiR-125a-5p inhibitor attenuated ANRIL knockdown-induced chemosensitivity to cisplatin. In addition, ANRIL knockdown resulted in a reduction in STAT3, a target of miR-125a-5p, in osteosarcoma cells. Forced overexpression of STAT3 weakened the chemosensitivity of ANRIL-silenced cells to cisplatin. In conclusion, our study demonstrates that ANRIL knockdown sensitizes osteosarcoma cells to cisplatin-induced cytotoxicity, suggesting ANRIL as a therapeutic target for osteosarcoma chemotherapy.

Ibraheem A, Attar-Schneider O, Dabbah M, et al.
BM-MSCs-derived ECM modifies multiple myeloma phenotype and drug response in a source-dependent manner.
Transl Res. 2019; 207:83-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
Multiple myeloma (MM) malignant plasma cells accumulate in the bone marrow (BM) where their interaction with the microenvironment promotes disease progression and drug resistance. Previously, we have shown that MM cells cocultured with BM-mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) comodulated cells' phenotype in a MAPKs/translation initiation (TI)-dependent manner. Dissection of the coculture model showed that BM-MSCs secretomes and microvesicles (MVs) participate in this crosstalk. Here, we addressed the role of the BM-MSCs extracellular matrix (ECM). MM cell lines cultured on decellularized ECM of normal donors' (ND) or MM patients' BM-MSCs were assayed for phenotype (viability, cell count, death, proliferation, migration, and invasion), microRNAs (MIR125a-3p, MIR199a-3p) and targets, MAPKs, TI epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), CXCR4, and autophagy. Drug (doxorubicin, velcade) response of MM cells cultured on ND/MM-MSCs' ECM with/without adhered MVs was also evaluated. ECM evoked opposite responses according to its origin: MM cells cultured on ND-MSCs' ECM demonstrated a rapid and continued decrease in MAPK/TI activation (↓10%-25%, P < 0.05) (15-24 hours) followed by diminished viability, cell count, proliferation, migration, and invasion (16-72 hours) (↓10%-50%, P < 0.05). In contrast, MM cells cultured on MM-MSCs' ECM displayed activated MAPK/TI, proliferation, EMT, and CXCR4 (↑15%-250%, P < 0.05). Corresponding changes in microRNAs relevant to the MM cells' altered phenotype were also determined. The hierarchy and interdependence of MAPKs/TI/autophagy/phenotype cascade were demonstrated. Finally, we showed that the ECM cooperates with MVs to modulate MM cells drug response. These data demonstrate the contribution of BM-MSCs' ECM to MM niche design and underscore the clinical potential of identifying targetable signals.

Park Y, Kim J
Regulation of IL-6 signaling by miR-125a and let-7e in endothelial cells controls vasculogenic mimicry formation of breast cancer cells.
BMB Rep. 2019; 52(3):214-219 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The role of tumor-proximal factors in tumor plasticity during chemoresistance and metastasis following chemotherapy is well studied. However, the role of endothelial cell (EC) derived paracrine factors in tumor plasticity, their effect on chemotherapeutic outcome, and the mechanism by which these paracrine factors modulate the tumor microenvironment are not well understood. In this study, we report a novel mechanism by which endothelial miR-125a and let-7e-mediated regulation of interleukin-6 (IL-6) signaling can manipulate vasculogenic mimicry (VM) formation of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. We found that endothelial IL-6 levels were significantly higher in response to cisplatin treatment, whereas levels of IL-6 upon cisplatin exposure remained unchanged in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. We additionally found an inverse correlation between IL-6 and miR-125a/let-7e expression levels in cisplatin treated ECs. Interestingly, IL-6, IL-6 receptor (IL-6R), and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) genes in the IL-6 pathway are closely regulated by miR-125a and let-7e, which directly target its 3' untranslated region. Functional analyses revealed that endothelial miR-125a and let-7e inhibit IL-6-induced adhesion of monocytes to ECs. Furthermore, conditioned medium from cisplatin treated ECs induced a significantly higher formation of VM in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells as compared to that from intact ECs; this effect of cisplatin treatment was abrogated by concurrent overexpression of miR-125a and let-7e. Overall, this study reveals a novel EC-tumor cell crosstalk mediated by the endothelial miR-125a/let-7e-IL-6 signaling axis, which might improve chemosensitivity and provide potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of cancer. [BMB Reports 2019; 52(3): 214-219].

Manzanarez-Ozuna E, Flores DL, Gutiérrez-López E, et al.
Model based on GA and DNN for prediction of mRNA-Smad7 expression regulated by miRNAs in breast cancer.
Theor Biol Med Model. 2018; 15(1):24 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The Smad7 protein is negative regulator of the TGF-β signaling pathway, which is upregulated in patients with breast cancer. miRNAs regulate proteins expressions by arresting or degrading the mRNAs. The purpose of this work is to identify a miRNAs profile that regulates the expression of the mRNA coding for Smad7 in breast cancer using the data from patients with breast cancer obtained from the Cancer Genome Atlas Project.
METHODS: We develop an automatic search method based on genetic algorithms to find a predictive model based on deep neural networks (DNN) which fit the set of biological data and apply the Olden algorithm to identify the relative importance of each miRNAs.
RESULTS: A computational model of non-linear regression is shown, based on deep neural networks that predict the regulation given by the miRNA target transcripts mRNA coding for Smad7 protein in patients with breast cancer, with R
CONCLUSIONS: We developed a genetic algorithm to select best features as DNN inputs (miRNAs). The genetic algorithm also builds the best DNN architecture by optimizing the parameters. Although the confirmation of the results by laboratory experiments has not occurred, the results allow suggesting that miRNAs profile could be used as biomarkers or targets in targeted therapies.

Qu S, Hao X, Song W, et al.
Circular RNA circRHOT1 is upregulated and promotes cell proliferation and invasion in pancreatic cancer.
Epigenomics. 2019; 11(1):53-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: We aimed to identify the roles of circRHOT1 in pancreatic cancer.
MATERIALS & METHODS: The circRHOT1 was acquired from our previous study followed by quantitative real-time PCR and fluorescence in situ hybridization validation in pancreatic cancer. We used siRNA and shRNA to explore the function of circRHOT1 in pancreatic cancer cells. Bioinformatic analyses were applied to study the potential mechanism of circRHOT1.
RESULTS: The circRHOT1 was upregulated in pancreatic cancer and predominantly located in the cytoplasm. Reducing the circRHOT1 expression may inhibit the pancreatic cancer cell proliferation, invasion and migration. The circRHOT1 may play a role in pancreatic cancer through binding miR-26b, miR-125a, miR-330 and miR-382 to regulate multiple tumor-associated pathways.
CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated that circRHOT1 may serve as an oncogenic circRNA that promotes tumor progression.

Yan L, Zhang J, Guo D, et al.
IL-21R functions as an oncogenic factor and is regulated by the lncRNA MALAT1/miR-125a-3p axis in gastric cancer.
Int J Oncol. 2019; 54(1):7-16 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Interleukin-21 receptor (IL-21R) is involved in the immunological regulation of immune cells and tumor progression in multiple malignancies. However, the potential molecular mechanisms through which non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) modulate IL-21R signaling in gastric cancer (GC) remain elusive. In this study, the expression of IL-21R was detected by RT-qPCR and western blot analysis in GC cell lines. The association between IL-21R expression and clinicopathological characteristics and the prognosis of patients with GC was analyzed by immunohistochemistry and Kaplan-Meier plotter analysis. The biological functions of IL-21R were analyzed by a series of in vitro and in vivo experiments, and its regulation by ncRNAs was predicted by bioinformatics analysis and confirmed by luciferase assays and rescue experiments. As a result, the expression of IL-21R was found to be significantly increased in GC cell lines and tissues as compared with normal tissues, and was associated with tumor size and lymphatic metastasis, acting as an independent prognostic factor of poor survival and recurrence in patients with GC. The knockdown of IL-21R markedly suppressed GC cell proliferation and invasion, and IL-21R expression was further validated to be negatively regulated by miR-125a-3p (miR-125a). The overexpression of IL-21R reversed the tumor suppressive effects of miR-125a in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, lncRNA metastasis-associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1 (MALAT1) acted as a sponge of miR-125a to modulate the IL-21R signaling pathway in GC cells and represented a risk factor for survival and recurrence in patients with GC. Taken together, the findings of this study reveal an oncogenic role for IL-21R in gastric tumorigenesis and verify that its activation is partly due to the dysregulation of the lncRNA MALAT1/miR-125a axis. These findings may provide a potential prognostic marker for patients with GC.

Zhang Y, Zhang D, Lv J, et al.
MiR-125a-5p suppresses bladder cancer progression through targeting FUT4.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2018; 108:1039-1047 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been widely studied in various human cancers, including bladder cancer. Previous report revealed that miR-125a-5p is downregulated in urothelial carcinomas. However, the biological function and molecular mechanism of miR-125a-5p in bladder cancer has not been elucidated. Therefore, this study focused on the role of miR-125a-5p in bladder cancer. The expression levels of miR-125a-5p were firstly tested in one normal cell line and four bladder cancer cell lines with qRT-PCR. The relative lower expression of miR-125a-5p was detected in bladder cancer cells. To confirm the effects of ectopic expression of miR-125a-5p on the biological behaviors of bladder cancer cells, gain-of-function assays were carried out. According to experimental results, miR-125a-5p overexpression suppressed cell proliferation and cell cycle progression, induced cell apoptosis. Moreover, overexpression of miR-125a-5p suppressed cell migration and invasion and reversed epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Mechanism investigation indicated that FUT4 is a target mRNA of miR-125a-5p in bladder cancer. The effects of FUT4 on cell proliferation, apoptosis, migration and invasion were identified by conducting gain-of-function assays. Finally, rescue assays indicated that FUT4 can reverse the effects of miR-125a-5p on bladder cancer progression. In summary, miR-125a-5p suppresses bladder cancer progression through targeting FUT4.

Liu H, Ma Y, Liu C, et al.
Reduced miR-125a-5p level in non-small-cell lung cancer is associated with tumour progression.
Open Biol. 2018; 8(10) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Emerging evidence suggests that microRNAs (miRNAs) serve an important role in tumourigenesis and development. Although the low expression of miR-125a-5p in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has been reported, the underlying mechanism remains unknown. In the current study, the low expression of miR-125a-5p in NSCLC was verified in paired cancer tissues and adjacent non-tumour tissues. Furthermore, the CpG island in the miR-125a-5p region was hypermethylated in the tumour tissues, and the hypermethylation was negatively correlated with miR-125a-5p expression. Target gene screening showed that the histone methyltransferase Suv39H1 was one of the potential target genes.

Xu J, Wang Y, Zhang Y, et al.
Astemizole promotes the anti-tumor effect of vitamin D through inhibiting miR-125a-5p-meidated regulation of VDR in HCC.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2018; 107:1682-1691 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) accounts for the fifth most common cancer worldwide. Vitamin D and antihistamines have been shown to play an anti-tumor role in various tumors. In the present study, we ought to investigate the synergistic effect of astemizole and Vitamin D in HCC cells. We showed that astemizole enhanced the anti-tumor effect of Vitamin D in HCC both in vitro and in vivo. Astemizole enhanced Vitamin D-induced decrease of cell viability and proliferation, increase of apoptosis, decrease of cell migration and invasion in HCC cells in vitro and decrease of tumor number, mass and incidence in HCC in vivo. Astemizole increased VDR expression both in HCC cells in vitro and in tumor tissues in vivo. Downregulation of VDR significantly inhibited the synergistic effect of Vitamin D and astemizole on HCC cell viability, proliferation, apoptosis, migration and invasion. Bioinformatics analysis identified that miR-125a-5p had a putative binding site in the 3'-UTR of VDR. miR-125a-5p mimics inhibited astemizole-induced increase of VDR and enhancement of the anti-tumor effect of Vitamin D in HCC. Reporter gene assay has confirmed that VDR was regulated by miR-125a-5p. miR-125a-5p inhibitors increased VDR expression and decreased cell viability and proliferation in HCC cells. Moreover, VDR and miR-125a-5p expression in tumor tissues in HCC patients were negatively correlated. We identified that inhibition of miR-125a-5p and subsequent upregulation of VDR was involved in astemizole-induced enhancement of the anti-tumor effect of Vitamin D in HCC. These results highlight the importance of combined treatment of astemizole and Vitamin D and provide novel insights into the role of miR-125a-5p-VDR signaling in HCC.

Zhang HD, Jiang LH, Hou JC, et al.
Circular RNA hsa_circ_0052112 promotes cell migration and invasion by acting as sponge for miR-125a-5p in breast cancer.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2018; 107:1342-1353 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Accumulating evidence has been reported that circular RNAs (circRNAs) are a class of relatively stable, non-coding RNAs, which are involved in the progression of many types of diseases. However, the mechanism of hsa_circ_0052112 in breast cancer cells is not entirely clear. Hsa_circ_0052112, generated from the ZNF83 gene, is selected by analyzing circRNA expression profiles of breast cancer cell by using microarray assay. In this study, we will show the role of hsa_circ_0052112 in regulating cell invasion and migration in breast cancer.
METHODS: The expression level of hsa_circ_0052112 in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells was detected by RT-qPCR; we performed transwell assay to evaluate breast cancer cells' migration and invasion; predicated circRNA/miRNAs interaction using the miRanda and RNAhybrid software; identified the relationship between hsa_circ_0052112 and miR-125a-5p by luciferase activity assay and show the localization of hsa_circ_0052112 by FISH assay and show the significance of ZNF83 in clinical prognosis by Kaplan-Meier survival analysis.
RESULTS: Hsa_circ_0052112 expression was significantly higher in MDA-MB-231 cells than that in MCF-7 cells. Overexpression of hsa_circ_0052112 promoted cell migration and invasion in breast cancer. Inversely, down-regulation of hsa_circ_0052112 suppressed breast cancer cells migration and invasion. Hsa_circ_0052112 was mostly located in cytoplasm. Hsa_circ_0052112 could directly sponge to miR-125a-5p; overexpression of miR-125a-5p significantly inhibited breast cancer cells migration and invasion. However, high or low expression of miR-125a-5p was not correlated with relapse free survival (RFS) by TCGA database validation, but high expression of ZNF83 was closely correlated with poor RFS by Kaplan-Meier plotter.
CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that hsa_circ_0052112 may be a potent biomarker for breast cancer, and may provide a new perspective on treatment of breast cancer.

Zhang Z, Jiang NY, Guan RY, et al.
Identification of critical microRNAs in gastrointestinal stromal tumor patients treated with Imatinib.
Neoplasma. 2018; 65(5):683-692 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are the most common mesenchymal neoplasms of the gastrointestinal tract. Imatinib mesylate was considered to be a breakthrough drug in clinical treatment of GIST, but GIST patients showed resistance against it. We aimed to identify critical microRNAs (miRNAs) related to imatinib resistance in imatinib-treated GIST patients. Microarray datasets under the accession number of GSE63159 and GSE45901 were downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database. The differentially expressed miRNAs (DEMs) that are related to imatinib resistance were identified. GO function and KEGG pathway enrichment analyses were performed, and lncRNA-miRNA-target gene regulatory networks were constructed. Finally, the critical miRNAs and their target genes that are related to imatinib resistance or sensitivity were identified. In total, 20 DEMs in the GSE63159 dataset (7 significantly up-regulated and 13 down-regulated) and 23 DEMs in the GSE45901 dataset (8 up-regulated and 15 down-regulated) were identified. In lncRNA-miRNA-target gene regulatory networks, five critical miRNAs and 109 target genes were identified. GO function and KEGG pathway enrichment analysis showed that the target genes of DEMs were mainly involved in several signaling pathways, such as focal adhesion and the GnRH signaling pathway. Among the five miRNAs, the overexpression of hsa-miR-28-5p and hsa-miR-125a-5p had significant correlation to imatinib resistance or imatinib sensitivity in GIST patients. Hsa-miR-28-5p and hsa-miR-125a-5p may be involved in the development and progression of GIST, and they may be able to serve as prognostic markers for imatinib-response in GIST patients.

Balatti V, Tomasello L, Rassenti LZ, et al.
Blood. 2018; 132(20):2179-2182 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/11/2019 Related Publications
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common adult leukemia. It is characterized by the accumulation of CD19

Zhang Z, Pan B, Lv S, et al.
Integrating MicroRNA Expression Profiling Studies to Systematically Evaluate the Diagnostic Value of MicroRNAs in Pancreatic Cancer and Validate Their Prognostic Significance with the Cancer Genome Atlas Data.
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2018; 49(2):678-695 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are promising biomarkers for pancreatic cancer (PaCa). However, systemic and unified evaluations of the diagnostic value of miRNAs are lacking. Therefore, we performed a systematic evaluation based on miRNA expression profiling studies.
METHODS: We obtained miRNA expression profiling studies from Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) and ArrayExpress (AE) databases and calculated the pooled sensitivity, specificity, and summary area under a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve for every miRNA. According to the area under the curve (AUC), we identified the miRNAs with diagnostic potentiality and validated their prognostic role in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) data. Gene Ontology (GO) annotations and pathway enrichments of the target genes of the miRNAs were evaluated using bioinformatics tools.
RESULTS: Ten miRNA expression profiling studies including 958 patients were used in this diagnostic meta-analysis. A total of 693 miRNAs were measured in more than 9 studies. The top 50 miRNAs with high predictive values for PaCa were identified. Among them, miR-130b had the best predictive value for PaCa (pooled sensitivity: 0.73 [95% confidence intervals (CI) 0.44-0.91], specificity: 0.81 [95% CI 0.59-0.93], and AUC: 0.84 [95% CI 0.73-0.95]). We identified nine miRNAs (miR-23a, miR-30a, miR-125a, miR-129-1, miR-181b-1, miR-203, miR-221, miR-222, and miR-1301) associated with overall survival in PaCa patients by combining our results with TCGA data. The results of a Cox model revealed that two miRNAs (miR-30a [hazard ratio (HR)=2.43, 95% CI 1.05-5.59; p=0.037] and miR-203 [HR=3.14, 95% CI 1.28-7.71; p=0.012]) were independent risk factors for prognosis in PaCa patients. In total, 405 target genes of the nine miRNAs were enriched with Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways, and cancer-associated pathways such as Ras signaling pathways, phospholipase D signaling pathway, and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling pathway were revealed among the top 20 enriched pathways. There were significant negative correlations between miR-181b-1 and miR-125a expression levels and the methylation status of their promoter region.
CONCLUSION: Our study performed a systematic evaluation of the diagnostic value of miRNAs based on miRNA expression profiling studies. We identified that miR-23a, miR-30a, miR-125a, miR-129-1, miR-181b-1, miR-203, miR-221, miR-222, and miR-1301 had moderate diagnostic value for PaCa and predicted overall survival in PaCa patients.

Quan HY, Yuan T, Hao JF
A microRNA‑125a variant, which affects its mature processing, increases the risk of radiation‑induced pneumonitis in patients with non‑small‑cell lung cancer.
Mol Med Rep. 2018; 18(4):4079-4086 [PubMed] Related Publications
The present study aimed to investigate the role of microRNA (miR)‑125a in the development of pneumonitis inpatients with non‑small‑cell lung cancer that received radiotherapy. In addition, the study aimed to determine how the miR‑125a affects its target, transforming growth factor β (TGFβ). Bioinformatics tools were used to identify a potential miR‑125a binding site in the 3'untranslated region of TGFβ, which was subsequently confirmed using a dual‑luciferase reporter system. In addition, tissue samples were collected from patients with lung cancer and genotyped as CC (n=36), CT (n=28) or TT (n=6). The expression levels of miR‑125a and TGFβ in these samples were determined, and CC genotype samples demonstrated upregulated miR‑125a expression, and downregulated TGFβ protein and mRNA expression compared with samples carrying the minor allele, T. To further investigate the association between the rs12976445 polymorphism and the risk of pneumonitis in patients with lung cancer that received radiotherapy, 534 lung cancer patients diagnosed with pneumonitis and 489lung cancer patients without pneumonitis were recruited. rs12976445 was shown to be significantly associated with the risk of pneumonitis. In conclusion, the rs12976445 polymorphism increased expression levels of TGFβ by decreasing the expression of miR‑125a, and therefore may be associated with the development of pneumonitis in patients with lung cancer that receive radiotherapy.

Li X, Xu Y, Ding Y, et al.
Posttranscriptional upregulation of HER3 by HER2 mRNA induces trastuzumab resistance in breast cancer.
Mol Cancer. 2018; 17(1):113 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/11/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: HER2 gene amplification generates an enormous number of HER2 transcripts, but the global effects on endogenous miRNA targets including HER family members in breast cancer are unexplored.
METHODS: We generated a HER2-3'UTR expressing vector to test the tumor-promoting properties in HER2 low expressing T47D and MCF7 cells. Through microarray analysis and real-time PCR analysis we identified genes that were regulated by HER2-3'UTR. Positive and negative manipulation of miRNA expression, response element mutational studies and transcript reporter assays were performed to explore the mechanism of competitive sequestration of miR125a/miRNA125b by HER2 3'UTR. To investigate if trastuzumab-induced upregulation of HER3 is also mediated through miRNA de-repression, we used the CRISPR/cas9 to mutate the endogenous HER2 mRNA in HER2 over-expressing Au565 cells. Finally, we looked at cohorts of breast cancer samples of our own and the TCGA to show if HER2 and HER3 mRNAs correlate with each other.
RESULTS: The HER2 3'UTR pronouncedly promoted cell proliferation, colony formation, and breast tumor growth. High-throughput sequencing revealed a significant increase in HER3 mRNA and protein levels by the HER2 3'untranslated region (3'UTR). The HER2 3'UTR harboring a shared miR-125a/b response element induced miR-125a/b sequestration and thus resulted in HER3 mRNA derepression. Trastuzumab treatment upregulated HER3 via elevated HER2 mRNA expression, leading to trastuzumab resistance. Depletion of miR-125a/b enhanced the antitumor activity of trastuzumab. Microarray data from HER2-overexpressing primary breast cancer showed significant elevation of mRNAs for predicted miR-125a/b targets compared to non-targets.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that HER2 3'UTR-mediated HER3 upregulation is involved in breast cell transformation, increased tumor growth, and resistance to anti-HER2 therapy. The combinatorial targeting of HER3 mRNA or miR-125a/b may offer an effective tool for breast cancer therapy.

Liu G, Ji L, Ke M, et al.
miR-125a-3p is responsible for chemosensitivity in PDAC by inhibiting epithelial-mesenchymal transition via Fyn.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2018; 106:523-531 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most lethal cancers and resistance to cytotoxic chemotherapy is the major cause of mortality in PDAC patients. miR-125a-3p was found to be down-regulated in PDAC cells; however, the function of miR-125a-3p in PDAC has been elusive. Here, we explored the role of miR-125a-3p in chemosensitivity in PDAC cells.
METHODS: We used qRT-PCR to detect miR-125a-3p expression in two PDAC cell lines. And we measured cell viability and apoptosis by MTT assay and flow cytometry, respectively. Scratch wound healing assay and transwell invasion assay were used to test the effects of miR-125a-3p and Fyn on cell EMT process. In addition, we validated the interaction of miR-125a-3p and Fyn by dual luciferase reporter assay. qRT-PCR and western blot were used to detect the mRNA and protein expressions of E-cadhrein, N-cadhrein, Snail and Fyn.
RESULTS: We found that miR-125a-3p was down-regulated in a time-dependent manner following treatment with gemcitabine in PDAC cells. Meanwhile, we found that overexpression of miR-125a-3p significantly increased chemosensitivity to gemcitabine and suppressed epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of PDAC cells. Mechanistically, miR-125a-3p directly targeted Fyn and decreased the expression of Fyn that functions to promote EMT process in PDAC. Furthermore, overexpression of Fyn could partially reverse the effects of miR-125a-3p on chemosensitivity to gemcitabine.
CONCLUSION: Our study is the first to show that miR-125a-3p is responsible for chemosensitivity in PDAC and could inhibit epithelial-mesenchymal transition by directly targeting Fyn. This provides a novel potential therapeutic strategy to overcome chemoresistance in PDAC.

Mari L, Hoefnagel SJM, Zito D, et al.
microRNA 125a Regulates MHC-I Expression on Esophageal Adenocarcinoma Cells, Associated With Suppression of Antitumor Immune Response and Poor Outcomes of Patients.
Gastroenterology. 2018; 155(3):784-798 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Immune checkpoint inhibition may affect growth or progression of highly aggressive cancers, such as esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC). We investigated the regulation of expression of major histocompatibility complex, class 1 (MHC-I) proteins (encoded by HLA-A, HLA-B, and HLA-C) and the immune response to EACs in patient samples.
METHODS: We performed quantitative polymerase chain reaction array analyses of OE33 cells and OE19 cells, which express different levels of the ATP binding cassette subfamily B member 1 (TAP1) and TAP2, required for antigen presentation by MHC-I, to identify microRNAs (miRNAs) that regulate their expression. We performed luciferase assays to validate interactions between miRNAs and potential targets. We overexpressed candidate miRNAs in OE33, FLO-1, and OACP4 C cell lines and performed quantitative polymerase chain reaction, immunoblot, and flow cytometry analyses to identify changes in messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein expression; we studied the effects of cytotoxic T cells. We performed miRNA in situ hybridization, RNA-sequencing, and immunohistochemical analyses of tumor tissues from 51 untreated patients with EAC in the Netherlands. Clinical and survival data were collected for patients, and EAC subtypes were determined.
RESULTS: We found OE19 cells to have increased levels of 7 miRNAs. Of these, we found binding sites for miRNA 125a (MIR125a)-5p in the 3' untranslated region of the TAP2 mRNA and binding sites for MIR148a-3p in 3' untranslated regions of HLA-A, HLA-B, and HLA-C mRNAs. Overexpression of these miRNAs reduced expression of TAP2 in OE33, FLO-1, and OACP4 C cells, and reduced cell-surface levels of MHC-I. OE33 cells that expressed the viral peptide BZLF1 were killed by cytotoxic T cells, whereas OE33 that overexpressed MIR125a-5p or MIR 148a along with BZLF1 were not. In EAC and nontumor tissues, levels of MIR125a-5p correlated inversely with levels of TAP2 protein. High expression of TAP1 by EAC correlated with significantly shorter overall survival times of patients. EACs that expressed high levels of TAP1 and genes involved in antigen presentation also expressed high levels of genes that regulate the adaptive immune response, PD-L1, PD-L2, and IDO1; these EACs had a poor response to neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy and associated with shorter overall survival times of patients.
CONCLUSIONS: In studies of EAC cell lines and tumor tissues, we found increased levels of MIR125a-5p and MIR148a-3p to reduce levels of TAP2 and MHC-I, required for antigen presentation. High expression of MHC-I molecules by EAC correlated with markers of an adaptive immune response and significantly shorter overall survival times of patients.

Pan L, Zhou L, Yin W, et al.
miR-125a induces apoptosis, metabolism disorder and migrationimpairment in pancreatic cancer cells by targeting Mfn2-related mitochondrial fission.
Int J Oncol. 2018; 53(1):124-136 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/11/2019 Related Publications
Mitochondrial fission is important for the development and progression of pancreatic cancer (PC). However, little is known regarding its role in pancreatic cancer apoptosis, metabolism and migration. In the current study, the mechanism by which mitochondrial fission modifies the biological characteristics of PC was explored. MicroRNA‑125a (miR‑125a) had the ability to inhibit mitochondrial fission and contributed to cellular survival. Suppressed mitochondrial fission led to a reduction in mitochondrial debris, preserved the mitochondrial membrane potential, inhibited mitochondrial permeability transition pore opening, ablated cytochrome c leakage into the cytoplasm and reduced the pro‑apoptotic protein contents, finally blocking mitochondria related apoptosis pathways. Furthermore, defective mitochondrial fission induced by miR‑125a enhanced mitochondria‑dependent energy metabolism by promoting activity of electron transport chain complexes. Furthermore, suppressed mitochondrial fission also contributed to PANC‑1 cell migration by preserving the F‑actin balance. Furthermore, mitofusin 2 (Mfn2), the key defender of mitochondrial fission, is involved in inhibition of miR125a‑mediated mitochondrial fission. Low contents of miR‑125a upregulated Mfn2 transcription and expression, leading to inactivation of mitochondrial fission. Ultimately, the current study determined that miR‑125a and Mfn2 are regulated by hypoxia‑inducible factor 1 (HIF1). Knockdown of HIF1 reversed miR‑125a expression, and therefore, inhibited Mfn2 expression, leading to activation of mitochondrial fission. Collectively, the present study demonstrated mitochondrial fission as a tumor suppression process that is regulated by the HIF/miR‑125a/Mfn2 pathways, acting to restrict PANC‑1 cell survival, energy metabolism and migration, with potential implications for novel approaches for PC therapy.

Panella M, Mosca N, Di Palo A, et al.
Mutual suppression of miR-125a and Lin28b in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2018; 500(3):824-827 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNA-125a exhibits an antiproliferative activity and is downregulated in several types of tumors, including hepatocellular carcinoma where it targets sirtuin-7, matrix metalloproteinase-11, and c-Raf. Another target of miR-125a is Lin28, a pluripotency factor that is generally undetectable in differentiated cells but is often upregulated/reactivated in tumors where it acts as an oncogenic factor promoting cell proliferation and tumor progression. In this study we show that downregulation of Lin28b by miR-125a partially accounts for its antiproliferative activity toward hepatocellular carcinoma cells. We also found that Lin28b is able to bind a conserved GGAG motif of pre-miR-125a and to inhibit its maturation in hepatocellular carcinoma cells. Reciprocal inhibition between miR-125a and Lin28b reasonably generates a positive feedback loop where reactivation of Lin-28b inhibits the expression of both miR-125a and let-7, reinforcing its own expression and leading to a marked overexpression of the mitogenic targets of the two miRNAs. On the other hand, perturbation of these circuits by overexpression of miR-125a suppresses Lin28b leading to a decreased cell proliferation. Overall, these data support a tumor suppressive role for miR-125a and contribute to the elucidation of its molecular targets.

Zhang Y, Liu Y, Xu X
Knockdown of LncRNA-UCA1 suppresses chemoresistance of pediatric AML by inhibiting glycolysis through the microRNA-125a/hexokinase 2 pathway.
J Cell Biochem. 2018; 119(7):6296-6308 [PubMed] Related Publications
Dysregulation of lncRNAs is implicated in chemoresistance in varieties of tumor including acute myeloid leukemia (AML). LncRNA urothelial carcinoma-associated 1 (UCA1) was reported to play an oncogenic role in AML. However, whether UCA1 was involved in chemoresistance in pediatric AML remains unclear. UCA1 expression in AML patients after adriamycin (ADR)-based chemotherapy and ADR-resistant AML cells was examined by qRT-PCR. The effects of UCA1 on the cytotoxicity of ADR and glycolysis were evaluated by MTT assay and measuring the glucose consumption and lactate production in HL60 and HL60/ADR cells, repectively. The protein levels of hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) and hexokinase 2 (HK2) were determined by Western blot. Luciferase reporter assay and RNA immunoprecipitation (RIP) assay were used to confirm the relationships between UCA1, HK2, and miR-125a. We found that UCA1 expression was upregulated following ADR-based chemotherapy. Knockdown of UCA1 increased the cytotoxic effect of ADR and inhibited HIF-1α-dependent glycolysis in ADR-resistant AML cells. Additionally, UCA1 functioned as a ceRNA of miR-125a by directly binding to miR-125a. HK2, a target of miR-125a, was positively regulated by UCA1 in HL60 and HL60/ADR cells. More notably, UCA1 overexpression overturned miR-125-mediated inhibition on HIF-1α-dependent glycolysis in HL60 and HL60/ADR cells. Furthermore, 2-deoxy-glucose (2-DG) exposure inhibited HIF-1α-dependent glycolysis, and attenuated UCA1-induced increase of chemoresistance in HL60 and HL60/ADR cells. We conclude that knockdown of UCA1 plays a positive role in overcoming the chemoresistance of pediatric AML, through suppressing glycolysis by the miR-125a/HK2 pathway, contributing to a better understanding of the molecular mechanism of chemoresistance in AML.

Chai L, Yuan Y, Chen C, et al.
The role of long non-coding RNA ANRIL in the carcinogenesis of oral cancer by targeting miR-125a.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2018; 103:38-45 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recently, increasing evidence has indicated that lncRNAs may play a critical role in the progression of oral cancer (OC). However, whether lncRNA-ANRIL is involved in the tumorigenesis of OC remains undetermined. In the present study, ANRIL showed significantly higher, while miR-125a showed lower, expression in OC tissues and sera than in normal controls. MTT, colony formation, flow cytometry analysis, wound-healing, transwell and mice xenograft model assays were used to detect the proliferation, migration, and invasion of ARNIL-overexpressing HB56 cells and ARNIL-knockdown CAL27 cells. The results showed that cell proliferation, migration, and invasion were significantly increased by ARNIL overexpression and decreased by ARNIL silencing in oral cancer cells. Furthermore, we found a negative correlation between ARNIL and miR-125a, and ARNIL acts as a miRNA-sponge by directly interacting with miR-125a.

Huang P, Mao LF, Zhang ZP, et al.
Down-Regulated miR-125a-5p Promotes the Reprogramming of Glucose Metabolism and Cell Malignancy by Increasing Levels of CD147 in Thyroid Cancer.
Thyroid. 2018; 28(5):613-623 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: CD147 contributes to increased aerobic glycolysis through which it promotes tumor growth. Accumulating evidence suggests that CD147 exerts a variety of functions in thyroid cancer (TC) progression but the molecular mechanisms and therapeutic value of CD147 remain unclear.
METHODS: CD147 levels in TC tissues were analyzed to assess its relationship with prognosis and disease progression. A microRNA (miRNA) microarray and bioinformatics approach were used to identify microRNA regulators of CD147 through measurement of the expression and functions of these miRNAs in TC tissues and cell lines. Precursor miRNA-transfected cells were used to assess regulation of CD147 by miRNA. The effect of miRNA on TC cells via inhibition of glycolysis through CD147 targeting was also evaluated.
RESULTS: We found that miR-125a-5p regulates CD147 and is negatively correlated with its expression and function. Moreover, CD147 knockdown or increased miR-125a-5p expression significantly reduced the viability, migration, and invasion of TC cells. Our mechanistic studies demonstrate that, through directly repressing the expression of the CD147 protein, miR-125a-5p suppresses aerobic glycolysis and lactate production and subsequently reduces TC cell viability, migration, and invasion, thereby exerting tumor suppressor functions.
CONCLUSIONS: The novel connection identified between miR-125a-5p and CD147 suggests a new diagnostic and prognostic role for miR-125a-5p and that CD147 inhibition may be a candidate therapeutic target in the therapy of for TC.

Zekri AN, El-Sisi ER, Youssef ASE, et al.
MicroRNA Signatures for circulating CD133-positive cells in hepatocellular carcinoma with HCV infection.
PLoS One. 2018; 13(3):e0193709 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/11/2019 Related Publications
AIM: Molecular characterization of the CD133+ stem cells associated with hepatocarinogensis through identifying the expression patterns of specific microRNAs (miRNAs).
METHODS: We investigated the expression pattern of 13 miRNAs in purified CD133+ cells separated from the peripheral blood of healthy volunteers, chronic hepatitis C (CHC), liver cirrhosis (LC) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients a long with bone marrow samples from the healthy volunteers and the LC patients using custom miScript miRNA PCR array.
RESULTS: The differential expression of the 13 studied miRNAs in CD133+ cells separated from the HCC patients' peripheral blood compared to the controls revealed that miR-602, miR-181b, miR-101, miR-122, miR-192, miR-125a-5p, and miR-221 were significantly up regulated (fold change = 1.8, 1.7, 2, 5.4, 1.6, 2.9 & 1.5 P value = 0.039, 0.0019, 0.0013, 0.0370, 00024, 0.000044 &0.000007 respectively). As for the HCC group compared to the CHC group; miR-602, miR-122, miR-181b, miR-125a-5p, and miR-192 were significantly up regulated (fold change = 13, 3.1, 2.8, 1.6 & 1.56, P value = 0.01, 0.001, 0.000004, 0.002 & 0.007 respectively). Upon comparing the HCC group to the LC group; miR-199a-3p, miR-192, miR-122, miR-181b, miR-224, miR-125a-5p, and miR-885-5p were significantly up regulated (fold change = 5, 6.7, 2.3, 3, 2.5, 4.2 & 39.5 P value = 0.001025, 0.000024, 0.000472, 0.000278, 0.000004, 0.000075 & 0.0000001 respectively) whereas miR-22 was significantly down regulated (fold change = 0.57 P value = 0.00002). Only, miR-192, miR-122, miR-181b and miR-125a-5p were significant common miRNAs in CD133+ cells of the HCC group compared to the other non-malignant groups.
CONCLUSION: We identified a miRNA panel comprised of four miRNAs (miR-192, miR-122, miR-181b and miR-125a-5p) that may serve as a molecular tool for characterization of the CD133+ cells associated with different stages of hepatocarinogensis. This panel may aid in developing a new target therapy specific for those CD133+ cells.

Lindner K, Eichelmann AK, Matuszcak C, et al.
Complex Epigenetic Regulation of Chemotherapy Resistance and Biohlogy in Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma via MicroRNAs.
Int J Mol Sci. 2018; 19(2) [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/11/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Resistance towards chemotherapy is a major obstacle in the treatment of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). We investigated the role of specific microRNAs in chemotherapy resistance and tumor biology.
METHODS: We selected three microRNAs from characteristic microRNA signatures of resistant ESCC (hsa-miR-125a-5p, hsa-miR-130a-3p, hsa-miR-1226-3p), and hsa-miR-148a-3p. Effects on chemotherapy, adhesion, migration, apoptosis and cell cycle were assessed in six ESCC cell lines. Target analyses were performed using Western blotting and luciferase techniques.
RESULTS: MiR-130a-3p sensitized cells towards cisplatin in 100% of cell lines, miR-148a-3p in 83%, miR-125a-5p in 67%, miR-1226-3p in 50% (
CONCLUSION: Our data present strong evidence that specific microRNA signatures are responsible for drug resistance and aggressiveness of ESCC. Final functional readout of these complex processes appears to be more important than single microRNA-target interactions.

Pedroza-Torres A, Campos-Parra AD, Millan-Catalan O, et al.
MicroRNA-125 modulates radioresistance through targeting p21 in cervical cancer.
Oncol Rep. 2018; 39(3):1532-1540 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cervical cancer (CC) is one of the most common cancers diagnosed in women worldwide, and it is estimated that ~500,000 new patients are diagnosed with cervical cancer annually and that ~270,000 deaths occur each year. Patients with cervical cancer are treated with different radiotherapy schedules, either alone or with adjuvant chemotherapy. Unfortunately, nearly 50% of all patients with cervical cancer do not respond to standard treatment due to tumor radioresistance. In this scenario, several microRNAs (miRNAs) have been associated with the acquisition of the radioresistance phenotype. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the possible role of miR‑125a in the acquisition of radioresistance in cervical cancer. The expression of miR‑125a was assessed by means of RT‑qPCR in 30 cervical cancer samples from patients receiving standard treatment and 3 induced radioresistant cervical cancer cell lines. In addition, we employed miR‑125a mimics and inhibitors to evaluate its function in the induction of radioresistance. We showed that miR‑125a was downregulated in patients with cervical cancer who did not respond to standard treatment. Concordantly, radioresistant SiHa, CaSki and HeLa cell lines had low levels of miR‑125a with respect to the sensitive cell lines. Finally, we demonstrated that overexpression of miR‑125a sensitized cervical cancer cells to radiation therapy through the downregulation of CDKN1A. Our data corroborate previously published studies in which it was demonstrated that miRNAs could play a role in the regulation of the process of radioresistance. Additionally, we showed that overexpression of miR‑125a could be used as a radioresistance biomarker in patients with cervical cancer.

Zhang Y, Yang L, Ling C, Heng W
HuR facilitates cancer stemness of lung cancer cells via regulating miR-873/CDK3 and miR-125a-3p/CDK3 axis.
Biotechnol Lett. 2018; 40(4):623-631 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: To study the roles and mechanisms of HuR in cancer stem cell maintenance of lung cancer.
RESULTS: HuR expression was increased in tumor spheres of lung cancer cells. Knockdown of HuR suppressed spheroid formation and size, inhibited the expression of stemness-related marker, Oct4, Nanog and ALDH in lung cancer cells. Importantly, HuR and CDK3 expressions were increased in lung cancer tissues compared with normal adjacent tissues, and positively correlated. Mechanistically, HuR directly bound to CDK3, and increased CDK3 mRNA stability and expression. Additionally, miR-873 or miR-125a-3p attenuated the promotion of HuR on CDK3 expression and lung cancer stemness. Furthermore, HuR facilitated lung cancer stemness dependent on CDK3 expression. miR-873 or miR-125a-3p level was negatively correlated with HuR and CDK3 expression levels in lung cancer tissues.
CONCLUSIONS: HuR facilitates lung cancer stemness via regulating miR-873/CDK3 and miR-125a-3p/CDK3 axis.

Zhang C, Xiao X, Chen M, et al.
Liver kinase B1 restoration promotes exosome secretion and motility of lung cancer cells.
Oncol Rep. 2018; 39(1):376-382 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 15/11/2019 Related Publications
Liver kinase B1 (LKB1) regulates a variety of cellular functions, including cell polarity, energy metabolism and cell growth, by targeting multiple signaling pathways such as AMPK/mTOR and p53. LKB1 functions as a tumor suppressor in sporadic cancers including lung cancer. Extracellular vesicles such as exosomes secreted by cancer cells modulate the tumor microenvironment and progression by targeting both tumor cells (autocrine actions) and other types of cells associated with tumors (paracrine actions). While the roles of LKB1 in cellular signaling in general is well-studied, its specific role in exosome-mediated signaling remains to be explored. To this purpose, we reintroduced LKB1 into H460 and A549 lung cancer cells that are endogenously deficient in LKB1 expression. Notably, we found that while restoration of LKB1 significantly reduced lung cancer cell growth as expected, it greatly promoted cell motility and enhanced the release of exosomes. In addition, exosomes isolated from H460 cells with stable restoration of LKB1 had much higher ability in stimulating lung cancer cell migration than did those from H460 cells lacking LKB1. Mechanistically, restoration of LKB1 in H460 cells inhibited cellular expression and exosomal secretion of migration-suppressing microRNAs (miRNAs), including miR-125a, miR-126 and let7b. Taken together, the present study revealed a new role for LKB1 in promoting cell motility by downregulating migration-suppressing miRNA expression and exosome secretion.

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