MicroRNA-125a represses cell growth by targeting HuR in breast cancer. Academic Article uri icon


  • MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of naturally occurring, small, non-coding RNAs that control gene expression during development,normal cell function and disease. Although there is emerging evidence that some miRNAs can function as oncogenes or tumor suppressors, there is limited understanding of the role of miRNAs in cancer. In this study, we observed that the expression of miR-125a was inversely correlated with HuR expression in several different breast carcinoma cell lines. HuR is a stress-induced RNA binding protein whose expression is elevated or localization perturbed in several different cancers. Increased cytoplasmic localization of HuR is a prognostic marker in breast cancer. Real time PCR and gene reporter assays indicated that HuR was translationally repressed by miR-125a. Re-establishing miR-125a expression in breast cancer cells decreased HuR protein level and inhibited cell growth. Using MCF-7 breast cancer cells, we further clarified that miR-125a inhibited cell growth via a dramatic suppression of cell proliferation and promotion of apoptosis.In addition, cell migration was also inhibited by miR-125a overexpression. Importantly, the repression of cell proliferation and migration engendered by miR-125a was partly rescued by HuR re-expression. Our results suggest that miR-125a may function as a tumor suppressor for breast cancer, with HuR as a direct and functional target.

publication date

  • December 2009