MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play an important role in human tumorigenesis as oncogenes or tumor suppressors by directly binding to the 3'-untranslated region of their target mRNAs. MiR-520d-3p has been reported as a tumor suppressor gene in ovarian cancer and gastric cancer, while the function of miR-520d-3p in human breast cancers is still uninvolved. In this study, we initially identified that the expression of miR-520d-3p was significantly reduced in breast cancer specimens and cell lines. The restoration of miR-520d-3p expression not only reduced breast cancer cell viability by causing the accumulation of G2 phase and cell apoptosis, but also inhibited tumorigenicity in vivo. In addition, as a critical target of miR-520d-3p, the activity of spindle and kinetochore associated 2 (SKA2) was greatly inhibited by miR-520d-3p, and overexpression of miR-520d-3p decreased the expression of SKA2. SKA2 downregulation suppressed cell viability, whereas restoration of SKA2 expression significantly reversed the inhibitory effects of miR-520d-3p antitumor activity. Furthermore, SKA2 was frequently overexpressed in clinical specimens and cell lines, and the expression levels were statistically inversely correlated with miR-520d-3p expression. In conclusion, our data demonstrated that miR-520d-3p antitumor activity is achieved by targeting the SKA2 in human breast cancer cells, suggesting that miR-520d-3p may be a potential target molecule for the therapy.
Keywords: SKA2; antitumor activity; breast cancer; miR-520d-3p.