Three miR-34 family members (miR-34a, miR-34b, and miR-34c) are clustered on two different chromosomal loci, Mir34a and Mir34b/c. These miRNAs have identical seed sequences, which are predicted to target the same set of genes. However, miR-34a and miR-34c have different sets of negatively correlated genes in lung adenocarcinoma data from The Cancer Genome Atlas. Therefore, we hypothesized that the individual miR-34 family members, which are tumor suppressive miRNAs, would have varying effects on lung tumorigenesis. To show this, we overexpressed each miR-34 cluster in murine lung cancer cells. MiR-34b/c enhanced cancer cell attachment and suppressed cell growth and invasion compared with miR-34a. In a syngeneic mouse model, both miR-34a and miR-34b/c blocked lung metastasis. However, miR-34b/c suppressed tumor growth more than miR-34a. MiR-34b/c also decreased the expression of mesenchymal markers (Cdh2 and Fn1) and increased the expression of epithelial markers (Cldn3, Dsp, and miR-200) to a greater degree than miR-34a. These results imply that miR-34b and miR-34c inhibit epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. Furthermore, knockout of all three miR-34 members promoted mutant Kras-driven lung tumor progression in mice. Similarly, lung adenocarcinoma patients with higher miR-34a/b/c levels had better survival rates than did those with lower levels. In summary, we suggest that miR-34b and miR-34c are more effective tumor suppressors than miR-34a.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported under the framework of an international cooperation program managed by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2016K2A9A1A01950244 to Y.-H.A.) and the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2016R1D1A1B03930068 to Y.-H.A.) and by the Ministry of Science and ICT (2010-0027945 to Y.-H.A. and NRF-2015R1C1A1A01054591 to Y.H.K.).
© 2019, The Author(s).