Tumor-suppressive role of the musculoaponeurotic fibrosarcoma gene in colorectal cancer

iScience. 2023 Mar 23;26(4):106478. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2023.106478. eCollection 2023 Apr 21.


Somatic cell reprogramming using the microRNAs miR-200c, miR-302s, and miR-369s leads to increased expression of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors in human colorectal cancer (CRC) cells and suppressed tumor growth. Here, we investigated whether these microRNAs inhibit colorectal tumorigenesis in CPC;Apc mice, which are prone to colon and rectal polyps. Repeated administration of microRNAs inhibited polyp formation. Microarray analysis indicated that c-MAF, which reportedly shows oncogene-like behavior in multiple myeloma and T cell lymphoma, decreased in tumor samples but increased in microRNA-treated normal mucosa. Immunohistochemistry identified downregulation of c-MAF as an early tumorigenesis event in CRC, with low c-MAF expression associated with poor prognosis. Of note, c-MAF expression and p53 protein levels were inversely correlated in CRC samples. c-MAF knockout led to enhanced tumor formation in azoxymethane/dextran sodium sulfate-treated mice, with activation of cancer-promoting genes. c-MAF may play a tumor-suppressive role in CRC development.

Keywords: Cancer; Molecular biology; Molecular mechanism of gene regulation.