MiRNA-26b inhibits cellular proliferation by targeting CDK8 in breast cancer

Int J Clin Exp Med. 2014 Mar 15;7(3):558-65. eCollection 2014.


Objectives: MicroRNA-26b (miR-26b) has been reported to be down-regulated in a wide range of malignant tumors, However, the mechanism by which miR-26b is implicated in breast cancer tumorigenesis is incompletely understood. This study was undertaken to evaluate the expression pattern of miR-26b and characterize its biological role in human breast cancer.

Methods: Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used to quantify the expression levels of miR-26b in breast cancer and adjacent non-cancerous breast tissues. MTT, colony formation assay and cell cycle assay were carried out to characterize the miR-26b function. Finally, to validate the target gene of miR-26b, luciferase reporter assay was employed, followed by RT-PCR and Western blot confirmation.

Results: Here, we found that miR-26b expression was relatively downregulated in breast cancer specimens (P<0.01). Overexpression of miR-26b dramatically suppressed cell proliferation, colony formation and induced G0/G1 cell cycle arrest of MDA-MB-231 and Mcf-7 cells. Luciferase assays revealed that miR-26b directly targeted the 3'UTR of CDK8. Overexpression of miR-26b led to the downregulation of CDK8 and β-catenin expression. Similarly, CDK8 knockdown by siRNA suppressed cell growth and subsequent β-catenin expression.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that miR-26b exerts a tumor suppressive role in breast cancer and the miR-26b-mediated growth inhibition is achieved through suppression of a new target gene CDK8.

Keywords: CDK8; MiR-26b; breast cancer; cell cycle; proliferation.