Recently, accumulating evidence provides that dysregulation of microRNAs (miRNAs) is considered to play vital roles in tumor progression. Based on microRNA arrays, we found that microRNA-448 (miR-448) was significantly downregulated in breast cancer tissue specimens. In our study, we were in an effort to clarify the function, the direct target gene, and the molecular mechanisms of miR-448 in breast cancer. By quantitative RT-PCR, we analyzed the expression of miR-448 in 16 patients with BC. Overexpression of miR-448 was established by transfecting miR-448-mimics into MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cells, methyl thiazolyl- tetrazolium and colony formation assays were performed to evaluate its effects on cell proliferation. We also performed cell migration and invasion assays in breast cells overexpressing miRNA-448. All the results indicated that overexpression of miR-448 in breast cancer cells markedly suppressed cell proliferation, migration, and invasion. Through the quantitative RT-PCR and Western Blots, we also evaluated epithelial-mesenchymal transition. We found that overexpression of miR-448 also downregulated the expression of vimentin, a well-known mesenchymal marker. Meanwhile, the epithelial marker E-cadherin was unregulated, suggesting that miR-448 inhibited epithelial-mesenchymal transition . Bioinformatics assay coupled with Western Blot and luciferase assays revealed that miR-448 directly binds to the 3'UTR of E-cadherin repressor ZEB1/2, resulting in suppression of epithelial-mesenchymal transition in breast cancer cells. Impact statement In our study, we revealed that miR-448 played a vital role in breast cancer development and we also uncovered the mechanisms of it. Following is the short description of the main findings: miR-448 is downregulated in BC. miR-448 regulates cell proliferation, migration, and invasion in BC. miR-448 specifically regulates ZEB1/2 through binding to the 3'UTR in BC cells. miR-448 inhibits cell migration, invasion, and EMT by targeting to the 3'UTR of ZEB1/2.
Keywords: Cancer; cell; disease; microRNA; molecular; oncogenesis.