Down-regulation of 14q32-encoded miRNAs and tumor suppressor role for miR-654-3p in papillary thyroid cancer

Oncotarget. 2017 Feb 7;8(6):9597-9607. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.14162.


Papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) is the most prevalent malignant neoplasia of the thyroid gland. A fraction of PTC cases show loss of differentiation and aggressive behavior, with radioiodine therapy resistance and metastasis. Although microRNAs (miRNAs) emerged as promising molecular markers for PTC, their role in the loss of differentiation observed during PTC progression remains to be fully understood. We performed the large-scale analysis of miRNA expression during PTC progression in BRAFT1799A-transgenic animals (Tg-Braf) and thyroid cancer cell lines and identified the marked downregulation of several miRNAs from the region 14q32. Data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) confirmed the global downregulation of miRNAs from the 14q32 region in human PTC. The regulatory network potentially suppressed by these miRNAs suggests that key cancer-related biological processes such as cell proliferation, adhesion, migration and angiogenesis. Among the downregulated miRNAs, we observed that miR-654-3p levels decrease with long-term PTC progression in Tg-Braf mice and inversely correlate with EMT. The in vitro restoration of miR-654-3p decreased cell proliferation and migration and induced reprogramming of metastasis-related genes, suggesting a tumor suppressor role for this miRNA. In conclusion, we show global downregulation of 14q32-encoded miRNAs in an in vivo model of PTC progression. The potential circuitry in which these miRNAs are involved suggests that these miRNAs could play a key role in the pathophysiology of PTC and therefore be relevant for the development of new therapeutic strategies.

Keywords: 14q32 region; metastasis; microRNA; microTranscriptome; papillary thyroid carcinoma.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 14*
  • Disease Progression
  • Down-Regulation
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Gene Regulatory Networks
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf / genetics
  • RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional
  • Signal Transduction
  • Thyroid Cancer, Papillary
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Time Factors


  • MicroRNAs
  • BRAF protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf