EpCAM knockdown alters microRNA expression in retinoblastoma—functional implication of EpCAM regulated miRNA in tumor progression

Madhu Beta, Vikas Khetan, Nivedita Chatterjee, Ganesan Suganeswari, Pukhraj Rishi, Jyotirmay Biswas, Subramanian Krishnakumar
PloS One 2014, 9 (12): e114800
The co-ordinated regulation of oncogenes along with miRNAs play crucial role in carcinogenesis. In retinoblastoma (RB), several miRNAs are known to be differentially expressed. Epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) gene is involved in many epithelial cancers including, retinoblastoma (RB) tumorigenesis. EpCAM silencing effectively reduces the oncogenic miR-17-92 cluster. In order to investigate whether EpCAM has wider effect as an inducer or silencer of miRNAs, we performed a global microRNA expression profile in EpCAM siRNA knockdown Y79 cells. MicroRNA profiling in EpCAM silenced Y79 cells showed seventy-three significantly up regulated and thirty-six down regulated miRNAs. A subset of these miRNAs was also validated in tumors. Functional studies on Y79 and WERI-Rb-1 cells transfected with antagomirs against two miRNAs of miR-181c and miR-130b showed striking changes in tumor cell properties in RB cells. Treatment with anti-miR-181c and miR-130b showed significant decrease in cell viability and cell invasion. Increase in caspase-3 level was noticed in antagomir transfected cell lines indicating the induction of apoptosis. Possible genes altered by EpCAM influenced microRNAs were predicted by bioinformatic tools. Many of these belong to pathways implicated in cancer. The study shows significant influence of EpCAM on global microRNA expression. EpCAM regulated miR-181c and miR-130b may play significant roles in RB progression. EpCAM based targeted therapies may reduce carcinogenesis through several miRNAs and target genes.

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