Tumor suppressive microRNA-137 negatively regulates Musashi-1 and colorectal cancer progression

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Stem cell marker, Musashi-1 (MSI1) is over-expressed in many cancer types; however the molecular mechanisms involved in MSI1 over-expression are not well understood. We investigated the microRNA (miRNA) regulation of MSI1 and the implications this regulation plays in colorectal cancer. MicroRNA miR-137 was identified as a MSI1-targeting microRNA by immunoblotting and luciferase reporter assays. MSI1 protein was found to be highly expressed in 79% of primary rectal tumors (n=146), while miR-137 expression was decreased in 84% of the rectal tumor tissues (n=68) compared to paired normal mucosal samples. In addition to reduced MSI1 protein, exogenous expression of miR-137 inhibited cell growth, colony formation, and tumorsphere growth of colon cancer cells. Finally, in vivo studies demonstrated that induction of miR-137 can decrease growth of human colon cancer xenografts. Our results demonstrate that miR-137 acts as a tumor-suppressive miRNA in colorectal cancers and negatively regulates oncogenic MSI1.




Smith, A. R., Marquez, R. T., Tsao, W. C., Pathak, S., Roy, A., Ping, J., … Xu, L. (2015). Tumor suppressive microRNA-137 negatively regulates Musashi-1 and colorectal cancer progression. Oncotarget, 6(14), 12558–12573. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.3726

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