MicroRNA-200a suppresses the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway by interacting with β-catenin

Juan Su, Anling Zhang, Zhendong Shi, Feifei Ma, Peiyu Pu, Tao Wang, Jie Zhang, Chunsheng Kang, Qingyu Zhang
International Journal of Oncology 2012, 40 (4): 1162-70
The Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway is crucial for human organ development and is involved in tumor progression of many cancers. Accumulating evidence suggests that the expression of β-catenin is, in part, regulated by specific microRNAs (miRNAs). The purpose of this study was to determine the expression of a recently identified epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT)-associated tumor suppressor microRNA (miR)-200a, in cancer cells. We also aimed to identify specific miR-200a target genes and to investigate the antitumor effects of miR-200a on the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. We employed TOP/FOP flash luciferase assays to identify the effect of miR-200a on the Wnt/β-catenin pathway and we confirmed our observations using fluorescence microscopy. To determine target genes of miR-200a, a 3' untranslated region (3' UTR) luciferase assay was performed. Cell viability, invasion and wound healing assays were carried out for functional analysis after miRNA transfection. We further investigated the role of miR-200a in EMT by Western blot analysis. We found fluctuation in the expression of miR-200a that was accompanied by changes in the expression of members of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. We also determined that miR-200a can directly interact with the 3' UTR of CTNNB1 (the gene that encodes β-catenin) to suppress Wnt/β-catenin signaling. MiR-200a could also influence the biological activities of SGC790 and U251 cells. Our results demonstrate that miR-200a is a new tumor suppressor that can regulate the activity of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway via two mechanisms. MiR-200a is a candidate target for tumor treatment via its regulation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.

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