SMARCB1 expression in epithelioid sarcoma is regulated by miR-206, miR-381, and miR-671-5p on Both mRNA and protein levels

Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2014 Feb;53(2):168-76. doi: 10.1002/gcc.22128. Epub 2013 Nov 5.


Proximal type epithelioid sarcoma shares similarities with malignant rhabdoid tumor, including the lack of nuclear immunoreactivity of SMARCB1. Biallelic mutation of SMARCB1 has been convincingly established as the cause of loss of protein expression in rhabdoid tumor, but the cause in epithelioid sarcoma remains unknown. In our previous work, we demonstrated that DNA hypermethylation and post-translational modification mechanisms were not involved. In this current work, we explored the hypothesis that miRNAs regulate SMARCB1 gene expression in epithelioid sarcomas. In silico target prediction analysis revealed eight candidate miRNAs, and quantitative PCR-in 32 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumor samples comprising 30 epithelioid sarcomas and two malignant rhabdoid tumors-demonstrated significant (P < 0.001) overexpression of four miRNAs in epithelioid sarcomas: miR-206, miR-381, miR-671-5p, and miR-765. Two human tumors (fibrosarcoma and colon adenocarcinoma) and a normal cell line (human dermal fibroblast) with retained SMARCB1 expression were cultured for miRNA transient transfection (electroporation) experiments. SMARCB1 mRNA expression was analyzed by quantitative real-time PCR and immunostaining of SMARCB1 was performed to examine the effect of miRNAs transfections on both RNA and protein levels. Only three of the overexpressed miRNAs (miR-206, miR-381, and miR-671-5p) could silence the SMARCB1 mRNA expression in cell cultures; most effectively miR-206. Transfection of miR-206, miR-381, miR-671-5p, and some combination of them also eliminated SMARCB1 nuclear staining, demonstrating a strong effect on not only mRNA but also protein levels. Our results suggest loss of SMARCB1 protein expression in epithelioid sarcoma is due to the epigenetic mechanism of gene silencing by oncomiRs.

MeSH terms

  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / genetics
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / metabolism*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • RNA Interference
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • SMARCB1 Protein
  • Sarcoma / genetics
  • Sarcoma / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • MIRN206 microRNA, human
  • MIRN381 microRNA, human
  • MIRN671 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Messenger
  • SMARCB1 Protein
  • SMARCB1 protein, human
  • Transcription Factors