Overexpression of microRNA-16 declines cellular growth, proliferation and induces apoptosis in human breast cancer cells

In Vitro Cell Dev Biol Anim. 2015 Jun;51(6):604-11. doi: 10.1007/s11626-015-9872-4. Epub 2015 Feb 12.


MicroRNAs (miRNA) are a large family of small single-stranded RNA molecules found in all multicellular organisms. Early studies have been shown that miRNA are involved in cancer development and progression, and this role can be done by working as an oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, so manipulation of this molecules can be a promising approach in cancer therapy, and experimental results represented that the modification in breast cancer phenotype is possible by miRNA expression alteration. miR-16, which is located in 13q14 chromosome, plays critical roles as a tumor suppressor by targeting several oncogenes which regulate cell cycle and apoptosis. Hence, in the present study, we investigated whether miR-16 could decline growth and survival of MCF-7 cell line as model of human breast cancer. MCF-7 cell line was infected with lentiviruses containing miR-16 precursor sequence. The effects of ectopic expression of miR-16 on breast cancer phenotype were examined by cell cycle analysis and apoptosis assays. miR-16 cytotoxicity effect was measured by the MTT assay. We showed that the miR-16 overexpression reduces Cyclin D1 and BCL2 at messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein levels in MCF-7 cell line. In addition, this is found that enforced expression of miR-16 decreases cell growth and proliferation and induces apoptosis in MCF-7 cells. In conclusion, our results revealed that upregulation of miR-16 would be a potential approach for breast cancer therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Annexin A5 / metabolism
  • Apoptosis* / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cell Cycle / genetics
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cyclin D1 / genetics
  • Cyclin D1 / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Lentivirus / metabolism
  • MCF-7 Cells
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Propidium / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Recombination, Genetic / genetics


  • Annexin A5
  • BCL2 protein, human
  • CCND1 protein, human
  • MIRN16 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Cyclin D1
  • Propidium