MicroRNAs targeting oncogenes are down-regulated in pancreatic malignant transformation from benign tumors.
ABSTRACT: MicroRNA (miRNA) expression profiles have been described in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), but these have not been compared with pre-malignant pancreatic tumors. We wished to compare the miRNA expression signatures in pancreatic benign cystic tumors (BCT) of low and high malignant potential with PDAC, in order to identify miRNAs deregulated during PDAC development. The mechanistic consequences of miRNA dysregulation were further evaluated.Tissue samples were obtained at a tertiary pancreatic unit from individuals with BCT and PDAC. MiRNA profiling was performed using a custom microarray and results were validated using RT-qPCR prior to evaluation of miRNA targets.Widespread miRNA down-regulation was observed in PDAC compared to low malignant potential BCT. We show that amongst those miRNAs down-regulated, miR-16, miR-126 and let-7d regulate known PDAC oncogenes (targeting BCL2, CRK and KRAS respectively). Notably, miR-126 also directly targets the KRAS transcript at a "seedless" binding site within its 3'UTR. In clinical specimens, miR-126 was strongly down-regulated in PDAC tissues, with an associated elevation in KRAS and CRK proteins. Furthermore, miR-21, a known oncogenic miRNA in pancreatic and other cancers, was not elevated in PDAC compared to serous microcystic adenoma (SMCA), but in both groups it was up-regulated compared to normal pancreas, implicating early up-regulation during malignant change.Expression profiling revealed 21 miRNAs down-regulated in PDAC compared to SMCA, the most benign lesion that rarely progresses to invasive carcinoma. It appears that miR-21 up-regulation is an early event in the transformation from normal pancreatic tissue. MiRNA expression has the potential to distinguish PDAC from normal pancreas and BCT. Mechanistically the down-regulation of miR-16, miR-126 and let-7d promotes PDAC transformation by post-transcriptional up-regulation of crucial PDAC oncogenes. We show that miR-126 is able to directly target KRAS; re-expression has the potential as a therapeutic strategy against PDAC and other KRAS-driven cancers.
Project description:Modulation of KRAS activity by upstream signals has revealed a promising new approach for pancreatic cancer therapy; however, it is not clear whether microRNA-associated KRAS axis is involved in the carcinogenesis of pancreatic cancer. Here, we identified miR-193b as a tumor-suppressive miRNA in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Expression analyses revealed that miR-193b was downregulated in (10/11) PDAC specimens and cell lines. Moreover, we found that miR-193b functioned as a cell-cycle brake in PDAC cells by inducing G1-phase arrest and reducing the fraction of cells in S phase, thereby leading to dampened cell proliferation. miR-193b also modulated the malignant transformation phenotype of PDAC cells by suppressing anchorage-independent growth. Mechanistically, KRAS was verified as a direct effector of miR-193b, through which the AKT and ERK pathways were modulated and cell growth of PDAC cells was suppressed. Taken together, our findings indicate that miR-193b-mediated deregulation of the KRAS axis is involved in pancreatic carcinogenesis, and suggest that miR-193b could be a potentially effective target for PDAC therapy.
Project description:Developing new targeted therapy for pancreatic cancer is one of the major current challenges in cancer research. KRAS mutations and miRNA dysregulation (e.g. miR-21-5p oncomiR) play key roles in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma (PDAC), leading to rapid progression of the disease. As the KRAS mutation is a main driver of PDAC, anti-KRAS strategies remain a major therapeutic approach for PDAC treatment. Previously, utilization of either siKRAS or small chemically modified single-stranded RNA molecules that specifically disable miR-21 (anti-miR-21) were effective in slowing PDAC tumor growth in various tumor models when packaged in an innovative delivery system (TPN) required for efficient drug delivery to the PDAC tumor site. Here we have tested the utility of targeting the KRAS pathway through multiple mechanisms and via dual targeting of a PDAC oncomiR and oncogene. Initially we found that miR-217, which has been shown to directly regulate KRAS expression, is downregulated in our PDAC samples, thus we tested the benefits of anti-miR-21, miR-217 mimic or siKRAS loaded into the tumor-penetrating nanoparticles (TPN) that we had previously shown to potently target the largely impenetrable PDAC tumors, and found an enhanced anti-tumoral response upon dual treatments in KRAS-mutated PDAC models.
Project description:Despite progress in treatment strategies, only ~24% of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) patients survive >1 year. Our goal was to elucidate deregulated pathways modulated by microRNAs (miRNAs) in PDAC and Vater ampulla (AMP) cancers. Global miRNA expression was identified in 19 PDAC, 6 AMP and 25 paired, histologically normal pancreatic tissues using the GeneChip 4.0 miRNA arrays. Computational approaches were used for miRNA target prediction/identification of miRNA-regulated pathways. Target gene expression was validated in 178 pancreatic cancer and 4 pancreatic normal tissues from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). 20 miRNAs were significantly deregulated (FC?2 and p<0.05) (15 down- and 5 up-regulated) in PDAC. miR-216 family (miR-216a-3p, miR-216a-5p, miR-216b-3p and miR-216b-5p) was consistently down-regulated in PDAC. miRNA-modulated pathways are associated with innate and adaptive immune system responses in PDAC. AMP cancers showed 8 down- and 1 up-regulated miRNAs (FDR p<0.05). Most enriched pathways (p<0.01) were RAS and Nerve Growth Factor signaling. PDAC and AMP display different global miRNA expression profiles and miRNA regulated networks/tumorigenesis pathways. The immune response was enriched in PDAC, suggesting the existence of immune checkpoint pathways more relevant to PDAC than AMP.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs) are pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) precursors. Differentiating between high-risk IPMNs that warrant surgical resection and low-risk IPMNs that can be monitored is a significant clinical problem, and we sought to discover a panel of mi(cro)RNAs that accurately classify IPMN risk status. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:In a discovery phase, genome-wide miRNA expression profiling was performed on 28 surgically-resected, pathologically-confirmed IPMNs (19 high-risk, 9 low-risk) using Taqman MicroRNA Arrays. A validation phase was performed in 21 independent IPMNs (13 high-risk, 8 low-risk). We also explored associations between miRNA expression level and various clinical and pathological factors and examined genes and pathways regulated by the identified miRNAs by integrating data from bioinformatic analyses and microarray analysis of miRNA gene targets. Six miRNAs (miR-100, miR-99b, miR-99a, miR-342-3p, miR-126, miR-130a) were down-regulated in high-risk versus low-risk IPMNs and distinguished between groups (P<10-3, area underneath the curve (AUC) = 87%). The same trend was observed in the validation phase (AUC = 74%). Low miR-99b expression was associated with main pancreatic duct involvement (P = 0.021), and serum albumin levels were positively correlated with miR-99a (r = 0.52, P = 0.004) and miR-100 expression (r = 0.49, P = 0.008). Literature, validated miRNA:target gene interactions, and pathway enrichment analysis supported the candidate miRNAs as tumor suppressors and regulators of PDAC development. Microarray analysis revealed that oncogenic targets of miR-130a (ATG2B, MEOX2), miR-342-3p (DNMT1), and miR-126 (IRS-1) were up-regulated in high- versus low-risk IPMNs (P<0.10). CONCLUSIONS:This pilot study highlights miRNAs that may aid in preoperative risk stratification of IPMNs and provides novel insights into miRNA-mediated progression to pancreatic malignancy. The miRNAs identified here and in other recent investigations warrant evaluation in biofluids in a well-powered prospective cohort of individuals newly-diagnosed with IPMNs and other pancreatic cysts and those at increased genetic risk for these lesions.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important post-transcriptional regulators. Altered expression of miRNAs has recently demonstrated association with human ulcerative colitis (UC). In this study, we attempted to elucidate the roles of miR-126 in the pathogenesis of UC.Expression of miR-126, miR-21, miR-375 and the potential targets NF-?B inhibitor alpha (I?B?, IKBA or NFKBIA), Polo-like kinase 2 (PLK2) and v-Crk sarcoma virus CT10 oncogene homolog (CRK) were assessed in 52 colonic biopsies from patients with active UC, inactive UC, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and from healthy subjects by quantitative RT-PCR and immunofluorescence analyses. Regulation of gene expression by miR-126 was assessed using luciferase reporter construct assays and specific miRNA mimic transfection.We found that the expression of miR-126 and miR-21 were significantly increased in active UC group compared to the inactive UC, IBS and healthy control groups (P<0.05). In contrast, the expression of IKBA mRNA and protein was remarkably decreased in the active UC group compared with the other three groups (P<0.05). The expression of miR-126 and IKBA mRNA were inversely correlated in active UC patients (P<0.05). However the expression of miR-375, PLK2 and CRK showed no difference between each group. Furthermore, we demonstrate that endogenous miR-126 and exogenous miR-126 mimic can inhibit I?B? expression. Finally, mutating the miR-126 binding site of the IKBA 3'-UTR reporter construct restored reporter gene expression.miR-126 may play roles in UC inflammatory activity by down-regulating the expression of IKBA, an important inhibitor of NF-?B signaling pathway.
Project description:Breast cancer is a major cause of cancer-related death in women worldwide. miRNAs are new players of breast tumorigenesis, used as diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers. Among various miRNAs, miR-126 has been proposed to have a tumor suppressive role in HER2 positive cancer. However, to have a better understanding of its role, further validation is required. The aim of this study was evaluating miR-126 expression level in breast cancer tissues and investigating its potential association with HER2, estrogen and progesterone receptors. miR-126 expression level was measured in 108 specimens including 78 malignant and 30 normal samples using RT-qPCR. The outcome was statistically analyzed. In silico studies were performed to find the potential mechanism of action, through which miR-126 imposes its function. Down-regulation of miR-126 was observed in tumor samples, as compared to the matched normal tissues. Down-regulation of miR-126 was also associated significantly with the absence of estrogen receptor in malignant samples. No association between miR-126 expression and HER2 status was observed. Our in silico analyses showed the possible role of Crk, PI3K and Ras proto-oncogenes in breast cancer tumorigenesis. miR-126 is significantly down-regulated in breast cancer tissues. Statistically, it showed no correlation with HER2 positivity. However, the association between lower miR-126 and estrogen receptor negativity was observed.
Project description:The long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) metastasis-associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript-1 (MALAT1) has been shown to play an important role in tumourigenesis. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of MALAT1 in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. MALAT1 is expressed at higher levels in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) tissues than in nontumour tissues and in metastatic PDAC than in localized tumours. Patients with PDAC and high MALAT1 expression levels have shorter overall survival than patients with PDAC and low MALAT1 expression levels. Knocking down MALAT1 reduces pancreatic tumour cell growth and proliferation both in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, MALAT1 knockdown inhibits cell cycle progression and impairs tumour cell migration and invasion. We found that miR-217 can bind MALAT1 and regulate its expression in PDAC cell lines. We also found MALAT1 knockdown attenuates the protein expression of KRAS, a known target of miR-217. After MALAT1 knockdown, KRAS protein expression levels can be rescued through inhibition of miR-217 expression. More importantly, MALAT1 knockdown does not directly affect cellular miR-217 expression but decreases the miR-217 nucleus/cytoplasm ratio, suggesting that MALAT1 inhibits the translocation of miR-217 from the nucleus to the cytoplasm.
Project description:Pharmacological inhibition of RAS, the master regulator of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), continues to be a challenge. Mutations in various isoforms of RAS gene, including KRAS are known to upregulate CXC chemokines; however, their precise role in KRAS-driven pancreatic cancer remains unclear. In this report, we reveal a previously unidentified tumor cell-autonomous role of KRAS(G12D)-induced CXCR2 signaling in mediating growth of neoplastic PDAC cells. Progressively increasing expression of mCXCR2 and its ligands was detected in the malignant ductal cells of Pdx1-cre;LSL-Kras(G12D) mice. Knocking-down CXCR2 in KRAS(G12D)-bearing human pancreatic duct-derived cells demonstrated a significant decrease in the in vitro and in vivo tumor cell proliferation. Furthermore, CXCR2 antagonists showed selective growth inhibition of KRAS(G12D)-bearing cells in vitro. Intriguingly, both genetic and pharmacological inhibition of CXCR2 signaling in KRAS(G12D)-bearing pancreatic ductal cells reduced the levels of KRAS protein, strongly implying the presence of a KRAS-CXCR2 feed-forward loop. Together, these data demonstrate the role of CXCR2 signaling in KRAS(G12D)-induced growth transformation and progression in PDAC.
Project description:Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a lethal malignancy characterized by resistance to currently employed chemotherapeutic approaches. Members of the mir-17~92 cluster of microRNAs (miRNAs) are upregulated in PDAC, but the precise roles of these miRNAs in PDAC are unknown. Using genetically engineered mouse models, we show that loss of mir-17~92 reduces ERK pathway activation downstream of mutant KRAS and promotes the regression of KRASG12D-driven precursor pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasias (PanINs) and their replacement by normal exocrine tissue. In a PDAC model driven by concomitant KRASG12D expression and Trp53 heterozygosity, mir-17~92 deficiency extended the survival of mice that lacked distant metastasis. Moreover, mir-17~92-deficient PDAC cell lines display reduced invasion activity in transwell assays, form fewer invadopodia rosettes than mir-17~92-competent cell lines and are less able to degrade extracellular matrix. Specific inhibition of miR-19 family miRNAs with antagomirs recapitulates these phenotypes, suggesting that miR-19 family miRNAs are important mediators of PDAC cell invasion. Together these data demonstrate an oncogenic role for mir-17~92 at multiple stages of pancreatic tumorigenesis and progression; specifically, they link this miRNA cluster to ERK pathway activation and precursor lesion maintenance in vivo and identify a novel role for miR-19 family miRNAs in promoting cancer cell invasion.
Project description:Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are emerging as key regulators in cancer initiation and progression. TP53TG1 is a recently identified lncRNA and several studies have shown that TP53TG1 may play the role of tumor suppressor gene or oncogene in different tumors. Nevertheless, the involvement of TP53TG1 in carcinogenesis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) has not been characterized. In our studies, we identified that TP53TG1 was highly expressed in PDAC and was a novel regulator of PDAC development. Knockdown of TP53TG1 inhibited proliferation, induced apoptosis, and decreased migration and invasion in PDAC cells, whereas enhanced expression of TP53TG1 had the opposite effects. Mechanistically, TP53TG1 could directly bind to microRNA (miR)-96 and effectively function as a sponge for miR-96, thus antagonizing the functions of miR-96 and leading to derepression of its endogenous target KRAS, which is a core oncogene in the initiation and maintenance of PDAC. Taken together, these observations imply that TP53TG1 contributes to the growth and progression of PDAC by acting as a competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) to competitively bind to miR-96 and regulate KRAS expression, which highlights the importance of the complicated miRNA-lncRNA network in modulating the progression of PDAC.