miR-200c inhibits melanoma progression and drug resistance through down-regulation of BMI-1

Am J Pathol. 2012 Nov;181(5):1823-35. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2012.07.009. Epub 2012 Sep 13.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short noncoding RNAs that play crucial roles in tumorigenesis and tumor progression. Melanoma is the most aggressive skin cancer that is resistant or rapidly develops resistance to a variety of chemotherapeutic agents. The role of miRNAs in melanoma progression and drug resistance has not been well studied. Herein, we demonstrate that miR-200c is down-regulated in melanomas (primary and metastatic) compared with melanocytic nevi. Overexpression of miR-200c in melanoma cells resulted in significantly decreased cell proliferation and migratory capacity as well as drug resistance. miR-200c overexpression resulted in significant down-regulation of BMI-1, ABCG2, ABCG5, and MDR1 expression and in a concomitant increase in E-cadherin levels. Knockdown of BMI-1 showed similar effects as miR-200c overexpression in melanoma cells. In addition, miR-200c overexpression significantly inhibited melanoma xenograft growth and metastasis in vivo, and this correlated with diminished expression of BMI-1 and reduced levels of E-cadherin in these tumors. The effects of miR-200c on melanoma cell proliferation and migratory capacity and on self-renewal were rescued by overexpression of Bmi-1, and the reversal of these phenotypes correlated with a reduction in E-cadherin expression and increased levels of ABCG2, ABCG5, and MDR1. Taken together, these findings demonstrate a key role for miR-200c in melanoma progression and drug resistance. These results suggest that miR-200c may represent a critical target for increasing melanoma sensitivity to clinical therapies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cadherins / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement / genetics
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Disease Progression*
  • Down-Regulation / genetics*
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanoma / genetics*
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 / genetics*
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Skin Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology


  • BMI1 protein, human
  • Cadherins
  • MIRN200 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 1