MicroRNA-497 induces cell apoptosis by negatively regulating Bcl-2 protein expression at the posttranscriptional level in human breast cancer

Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015 Jul 1;8(7):7729-39. eCollection 2015.


Many studies have demonstrated that microRNAs (miRNAs) may play vital roles in the development of breast cancer. The aim of this study was to examine the expression levels of miR-497 in human breast cancer and investigate whether its potential roles involved targeting Bcl-2. Real-time quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was used to examine the expression levels of miR-497 in 48 breast cancer specimens and six breast cancer cell lines. MTT assay, colony formation assay, and flow cytometry were conducted to explore the potential functions of miR-497 in human MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Correlation analysis and dual-luciferase reporter assay were performed to validate whether Bcl-2 was a direct target of miR-497. The effects of modulating miR-497 on endogenous levels of Bcl-2 were subsequently confirmed via qRT-PCR and western blot. MTT assay, colony formation assay and flow cytometry were used to indicate the roles of endogenous Bcl-2 in breast cancer cells. miR-497 expression levels were significantly decreased in human breast cancer specimens and cell lines (P<0.05). Overexpression of miR-497 in breast cancer cells suppressed cell proliferation and induced apoptosis. Correlation analysis indicated that miR-497 was highly inversely correlated with Bcl-2 protein expression in breast cancer specimens. Dual-luciferase reporter assays confirmed that Bcl-2 was a direct target of miR-497. qRT-PCR and western blot showed that miR-497 negatively regulated Bcl-2 protein expression but had no impact on mRNA expression of Bcl-2. Knockdown of Bcl-2 expression in MDA-MB-231 cells significantly suppressed cell proliferation and promoted apoptosis. Our study suggests that miR-497 may act as a breast cancer suppressor through negative regulation of Bcl-2 protein expression at the posttranscriptional levels. Therefore, targeting miR-497 may provide a novel strategy for the diagnosis and treatment of patients with this lethal disease.

Keywords: Bcl-2; apoptosis; breast cancer; miR-497.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Down-Regulation
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / metabolism


  • MIRN497 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2