alexa MicroRNA-221 222 negatively regulates estrogen receptor alpha and is associated with tamoxifen resistance in breast cancer
Oncology

Oncology

Journal of Integrative Oncology

Author(s): Zhao JJ, Jianhong Lin, Hua Yang, William Kong, Lili He, Xu Ma, Domenico Coppola, Jin Q Cheng

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A search for regulators of estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) expression has yielded a set of microRNAs (miRNAs) for which expression is specifically elevated in ERalpha-negative breast cancer. Here we show distinct expression of a panel of miRNAs between ERalpha-positive and ERalpha-negative breast cancer cell lines and primary tumors. Of the elevated miRNAs in ERalpha-negative cells, miR-221 and miR-222 directly interact with the 3'-untranslated region of ERalpha. Ectopic expression of miR-221 and miR-222 in MCF-7 and T47D cells resulted in a decrease in expression of ERalpha protein but not mRNA, whereas knockdown of miR-221 and miR-222 partially restored ERalpha in ERalpha protein-negative/mRNA-positive cells. Notably, miR-221- and/or miR-222-transfected MCF-7 and T47D cells became resistant to tamoxifen compared with vector-treated cells. Furthermore, knockdown of miR-221 and/or miR-222 sensitized MDA-MB-468 cells to tamoxifen-induced cell growth arrest and apoptosis. These findings indicate that miR-221 and miR-222 play a significant role in the regulation of ERalpha expression at the protein level and could be potential targets for restoring ERalpha expression and responding to antiestrogen therapy in a subset of breast cancers.

This article was published in J Biol Chem and referenced in Journal of Integrative Oncology

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