HNRNPA2/B1 is upregulated in endocrine-resistant LCC9 breast cancer cells and alters the miRNA transcriptome when overexpressed in MCF-7 cells

Sci Rep. 2019 Jul 1;9(1):9430. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-45636-8.


MicroRNAs are dysregulated in breast cancer. Heterogeneous Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein A2/B1 (HNRNPA2/B1) is a reader of the N(6)-methyladenosine (m6A) mark in primary-miRNAs (pri-miRNAs) and promotes DROSHA processing to precursor-miRNAs (pre-miRNAs). We examined the expression of writers, readers, and erasers of m6A and report that HNRNPA2/B1 expression is higher in tamoxifen-resistant LCC9 breast cancer cells as compared to parental, tamoxifen-sensitive MCF-7 cells. To examine how increased expression of HNRNPA2/B1 affects miRNA expression, HNRNPA2/B1 was transiently overexpressed (~5.4-fold) in MCF-7 cells for whole genome miRNA profiling (miRNA-seq). 148 and 88 miRNAs were up- and down-regulated, respectively, 48 h after transfection and 177 and 172 up- and down-regulated, respectively, 72 h after transfection. MetaCore Enrichment analysis identified progesterone receptor action and transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) signaling via miRNA in breast cancer as pathways downstream of the upregulated miRNAs and TGFβ signaling via SMADs and Notch signaling as pathways of the downregulated miRNAs. GO biological processes for mRNA targets of HNRNPA2/B1-regulated miRNAs included response to estradiol and cell-substrate adhesion. qPCR confirmed HNRNPA2B1 downregulation of miR-29a-3p, miR-29b-3p, and miR-222 and upregulation of miR-1266-5p, miR-1268a, miR-671-3p. Transient overexpression of HNRNPA2/B1 reduced MCF-7 sensitivity to 4-hydroxytamoxifen and fulvestrant, suggesting a role for HNRNPA2/B1 in endocrine-resistance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Down-Regulation
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / drug effects
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / genetics*
  • Female
  • Heterogeneous-Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein Group A-B / genetics
  • Heterogeneous-Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein Group A-B / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • MCF-7 Cells
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Tamoxifen / pharmacology
  • Transcriptome
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism
  • Up-Regulation


  • Heterogeneous-Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein Group A-B
  • MicroRNAs
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • hnRNP A2
  • Tamoxifen