Down-regulation of miR-129-5p via the Twist1-Snail feedback loop stimulates the epithelial-mesenchymal transition and is associated with poor prognosis in breast cancer

Oncotarget. 2015 Oct 27;6(33):34423-36. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.5406.


The epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) plays a pivotal role in breast cancer progression. We found that overexpression of miR-129-5p reversed EMT, whereas depletion of miR-129-5p induced EMT in breast cancer cells. We demonstrated that Twist1 is a direct target of miR-129-5p. Both Twist1 and Snail transcriptionally suppressed miR-129-5p expression. Levels of miR-129-5p were low in breast cancer tissues. miR-129-5p down-regulation correlated with advanced clinical stage and poor prognosis in patients with breast cancer. miR-129-5p expression negatively correlated with Twist1 and Snail expression. Thus, miR-129-5p down-regulation fosters EMT in breast cancer by increasing Twist1-Snail and activating a negative feedback loop.

Keywords: EMT; Snail; Twist1; breast cancer progression; miR-129-5p.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Chromatin Immunoprecipitation
  • Down-Regulation
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition / genetics*
  • Feedback, Physiological
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / genetics
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • MicroRNAs / biosynthesis*
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • Middle Aged
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Prognosis
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Snail Family Transcription Factors
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Transfection
  • Twist-Related Protein 1 / genetics
  • Twist-Related Protein 1 / metabolism*


  • MicroRNAs
  • Mirn129 microRNA, human
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Snail Family Transcription Factors
  • TWIST1 protein, human
  • Transcription Factors
  • Twist-Related Protein 1