MiR-133b targets Sox9 to control pathogenesis and metastasis of breast cancer

Cell Death Dis. 2018 Jul 3;9(7):752. doi: 10.1038/s41419-018-0715-6.


The miR-133b, a commonly recognized muscle-specific miRNA, was reported to be deregulated in many kinds of cancers. However, its potential roles in tumorigenesis remain greatly elusive. Herein, we demonstrate that miR-133b is significantly suppressed in human breast cancer specimens, which is reversely correlated to histological grade of the cancer. Ectopic expression of miR-133b suppresses clonogenic ability and metastasis-relevant traits in vitro, as well as carcinogenesis and pulmonary metastasis in vivo. Further studies have identified Sox9, c-MET, and WAVE2 as direct targets of miR-133b, in which Sox9 contributes to all miR-133b-endowed effects including cell proliferation, colony formation, as well as cell migration and invasion in vitro. Moreover, re-expression of Sox9 reverses miR-133b-mediated metastasis suppression in vivo. Taken together, these findings highlight an important role for miR-133b in the regulation of tumorigenesis and metastatic potential of breast cancer and suggest a potential application of miR-133b in cancer treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / genetics
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / genetics
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / pathology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-met / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-met / metabolism
  • SOX9 Transcription Factor / genetics
  • SOX9 Transcription Factor / metabolism*
  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein Family / genetics
  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein Family / metabolism


  • MIRN133 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs
  • SOX9 Transcription Factor
  • SOX9 protein, human
  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein Family
  • MET protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-met