Introduction: MicroRNAs are small non-coding RNAs that are involved in the post-transcriptional negative regulation of mRNAs. MicroRNA 510 (miR-510) was initially shown to have a potential oncogenic role in breast cancer by the observation of its elevated levels in human breast tumor samples when compared to matched non-tumor samples. Few targets have been identified for miR-510. However, as microRNAs function through the negative regulation of their direct targets, the identification of those targets is critical for the understanding of their functional role in breast cancer.
Methods: Breast cancer cell lines were transfected with pre-miR-510 or antisense miR-510 and western blotting and quantitative real time PCR were performed. Functional assays performed included cell growth, migration, invasion, colony formation, cytotoxicity and in vivo tumor growth. We performed a PCR assay to identify novel direct targets of miR-510. The study focused on peroxiredoxin 1 (PRDX1) as it was identified through our screen and was bioinformatically predicted to contain a miR-510 seed site in its 3' untranslated region (3'UTR). Luciferase reporter assays and site-directed mutagenesis were performed to confirm PRDX1 as a direct target. The Student's two-sided, paired t-test was used and a P-value less than 0.05 was considered significant.
Results: We show that miR-510 overexpression in non-transformed and breast cancer cells can increase their cell growth, migration, invasion and colony formation in vitro. We also observed increased tumor growth when miR-510 was overexpressed in vivo. We identified PRDX1 through a novel PCR screen and confirmed it as a direct target using luciferase reporter assays. The reintroduction of PRDX1 into breast cancer cell lines without its regulatory 3'UTR confirmed that miR-510 was mediating its migratory phenotype at least in part through the negative regulation of PRDX1. Furthermore, the PI3K/Akt pathway was identified as a positive regulator of miR-510 both in vitro and in vivo.
Conclusions: In this study, we provide evidence to support a role for miR-510 as a novel oncomir. We show that miR-510 directly binds to the 3'UTR of PRDX1 and blocks its protein expression, thereby suppressing migration of human breast cancer cells. Taken together, these data support a pivotal role for miR-510 in breast cancer progression and suggest it as a potential therapeutic target in breast cancer patients.