Novel Direct Targets of miR-19a Identified in Breast Cancer Cells by a Quantitative Proteomic Approach

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The miR-17-92 cluster encodes 7 miRNAs inside a single polycistronic transcript, and is known as a group of oncogenic miRNAs that contribute to tumorigenesis in several cancers. However, their direct targets remain unclear, and it has been suggested that a single miRNA is capable of reducing the production of hundreds of proteins. The majority of reports on the identification of miRNA targets are based on computational approaches or the detection of altered mRNA levels, despite the fact that most miRNAs are thought to regulate their targets primarily by translational inhibition in higher organisms. In this study, we examined the target profiles of miR-19a, miR-20a and miR-92-1 in MCF-7 breast cancer cells by a quantitative proteomic strategy to identify their direct targets. A total of 123 proteins were significantly increased after the endogenous miR-19a, miR-20a and miR-92-1 were knocked down, and were identified as potential targets by two-dimensional electrophoresis and a mass spectrometric analysis. Among the upregulated proteins, four (PPP2R2A, ARHGAP1, IMPDH1 and NPEPL1) were shown to have miR-19a or miR-20a binding sites on their mRNAs. The luciferase activity of the plasmids with each binding site was observed to decrease, and an increased luciferase activity was observed in the presence of the specific anti-miRNA-LNA. A Western blot analysis showed the expression levels of IMPDH1 and NPEPL1 to increase after treatment with anti-miR-19a, while the expression levels of PPP2R2A and ARHGAP1 did not change. The expression levels of IMPDH1 and NPEPL1 did not significantly change by anti-miR-19a-LNA at the mRNA level. These results suggest that the IMPDH1 and NPEPL1 genes are direct targets of miR-19a in breast cancer, while the exogenous expression of these genes is not associated with the growth suppression of MCF-7 cells. Furthermore, our proteomic approaches were shown to be valuable for identifying direct miRNA targets. © 2012 Ouchida et al.




Ouchida, M., Kanzaki, H., Ito, S., Hanafusa, H., Jitsumori, Y., Tamaru, S., & Shimizu, K. (2012). Novel Direct Targets of miR-19a Identified in Breast Cancer Cells by a Quantitative Proteomic Approach. PLoS ONE, 7(8).

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