Bioinformatics and Systems Medicine Laboratory
General information | Expression | Regulation | Mutation | Interaction

Basic Information

Gene ID





MIRN34A|miRNA34A|mir-34;microRNA 34a;MIR34A;microRNA 34a





Gene type



Count: 2; Pubmed_search,Generif



Capture of microRNA-bound mRNAs identifies the tumor suppressor miR-34a as a regulator of growth factor signaling.

A simple biochemical method to isolate mRNAs pulled down with a transfected, biotinylated microRNA was used to identify direct target genes of miR-34a, a tumor suppressor gene. The method reidentified most of the known miR-34a regulated genes expressed in K562 and HCT116 cancer cell lines. Transcripts for 982 genes were enriched in the pull-down with miR-34a in both cell lines. Despite this large number, validation experiments suggested that ~90% of the genes identified in both cell lines can be directly regulated by miR-34a. Thus miR-34a is capable of regulating hundreds of genes. The transcripts pulled down with miR-34a were highly enriched for their roles in growth factor signaling and cell cycle progression. These genes form a dense network of interacting gene products that regulate multiple signal transduction pathways that orchestrate the proliferative response to external growth stimuli. Multiple candidate miR-34a-regulated genes participate in RAS-RAF-MAPK signaling. Ectopic miR-34a expression reduced basal ERK and AKT phosphorylation and enhanced sensitivity to serum growth factor withdrawal, while cells genetically deficient in miR-34a were less sensitive. Fourteen new direct targets of miR-34a were experimentally validated, including genes that participate in growth factor signaling (ARAF and PIK3R2) as well as genes that regulate cell cycle progression at various phases of the cell cycle (cyclins D3 and G2, MCM2 and MCM5, PLK1 and SMAD4). Thus miR-34a tempers the proliferative and pro-survival effect of growth factor stimulation by interfering with growth factor signal transduction and downstream pathways required for cell division.

MicroRNA-34a is a potent tumor suppressor molecule in vivo in neuroblastoma.

BACKGROUND: Neuroblastoma is a paediatric cancer which originates from precursor cells of the sympathetic nervous system and accounts for 15% of childhood cancer mortalities. With regards to the role of miRNAs in neuroblastoma, miR-34a, mapping to a chromosome 1p36 region that is commonly deleted, has been found to act as a tumor suppressor through targeting of numerous genes associated with cell proliferation and apoptosis. METHODS: A synthetic miR-34a (or negative control) precursor molecule was transfected into NB1691luc and SK-N-ASluc neuroblastoma cells. Quantitative PCR was used to verify increased miR-34a levels in NB1691luc and SK-N-ASluc cell lines prior to in vitro and in vivo analysis. In vitro analysis of the effects of miR-34a over expression on cell growth, cell cycle and phosphoprotein activation in signal transduction pathways was performed. Neuroblastoma cells over expressing miR-34a were injected retroperitoneally into immunocompromised CB17-SCID mice and tumor burden was assessed over a 21 day period by measuring bioluminescence (photons/sec/cm(2)). RESULTS: Over expression of miR-34a in both NB1691luc and SK-N-ASluc neuroblastoma cell lines led to a significant decrease in cell number relative to premiR-negative control treated cells over a 72 hour period. Flow cytometry results indicated that miR-34a induced cell cycle arrest and subsequent apoptosis activation. Phosphoprotein analysis highlighted key elements involved in signal transduction, whose activation was dysregulated as a result of miR-34a introduction into cells. As a potential mechanism of miR-34a action on phosphoprotein levels, we demonstrate that miR-34a over-expression results in a significant reduction of MAP3K9 mRNA and protein levels. Although MAP3K9 is a predicted target of miR-34a, direct targeting could not be validated with luciferase reporter assays. Despite this fact, any functional effects of reduced MAP3K9 expression as a result of miR-34a would be expected to be similar regardless of the mechanism involved. Most notably, in vivo studies showed that tumor growth was significantly repressed after exogenous miR-34a administration in retroperitoneal neuroblastoma tumors. CONCLUSION: We demonstrate for the first time that miR-34a significantly reduces tumor growth in an in vivo orthotopic murine model of neuroblastoma and identified novel effects that miR-34a has on phospho-activation of key proteins involved with apoptosis.

"This study, we performed a comprehensive analysis of putative human miRNA oncogenes and tumor suppressors. We found that miRNA oncogenes and tumor suppressors clearly show different patterns in function, evolutionary rate, expression, chromosome distribution, molecule size, free energy, transcription factors, and targets."

microRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs which play essential roles in many important biological processes. Therefore, their dysfunction is associated with a variety of human diseases, including cancer. Increasing evidence shows that miRNAs can act as oncogenes or tumor suppressors, and although there is great interest in research into these cancer-associated miRNAs, little is known about them. In this study, we performed a comprehensive analysis of putative human miRNA oncogenes and tumor suppressors. We found that miRNA oncogenes and tumor suppressors clearly show different patterns in function, evolutionary rate, expression, chromosome distribution, molecule size, free energy, transcription factors, and targets. For example, miRNA oncogenes are located mainly in the amplified regions in human cancers, whereas miRNA tumor suppressors are located mainly in the deleted regions. miRNA oncogenes tend to cleave target mRNAs more frequently than miRNA tumor suppressors. These results indicate that these two types of cancer-associated miRNAs play different roles in cancer formation and development. Moreover, the patterns identified here can discriminate novel miRNA oncogenes and tumor suppressors with a high degree of accuracy. This study represents the first large-scale bioinformatic analysis of human miRNA oncogenes and tumor suppressors. Our findings provide help for not only understanding of miRNAs in cancer but also for the specific identification of novel miRNAs as miRNA oncogenes and tumor suppressors. In addition, the data presented in this study will be valuable for the study of both miRNAs and cancer.

"Results demonstrate that miR-34a acts as a tumor suppressor in p53-mutant glioma cells U251, partially through regulating SIRT1."

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Previous studies showed that microRNA-34 (miR-34a) family was found to be a direct target of p53, functioning downstream of the p53 pathway as tumor suppressors. MiR-34a was identified to represent the status of p53 and participate in initiation and progress of cancers. We undertook this study to investigate the role of miR-34a in glioma cells. METHODS: expression levels of miR-34a in glioma cell lines and normal brains were detected using qRT-PCR. Human U251 glioma cells were transfected with miR-34a mimics, and the effects of miR-34a restoration were assessed by MTT assays, cell cycle analysis, caspase-3 activation, and in vitro migration and invasion assays. A computational search revealed a conserved target site of miR-34a within the 3'-untranslated region of SIRT1. Luciferase reporter assay was performed to examine the effects of miR-34a on expression of potential target gene SIRT1, and mRNA and protein expression of SIRT1 after miR-34a transfection were detected by qRT-PCR and Western blot analysis. RESULTS: MiR-34a expression was markedly reduced in p53-mutant cells U251 compared with A172 and SHG-44 cells expressing wild-type p53 and normal brains. Overexpression of miR-34a in U251 cells resulted in inhibition of cell growth and arrest in G0-G1 phase and induced apoptosis. Also, restoration of miR-34a significantly reduced in vitro migration and invasion capabilities. Reporter assays indicated that SIRT1 was a direct target of miR-34a. In U251 cells, overexpression of miR-34a decreased SIRT1 protein levels but not mRNA expressions, which demonstrated miR-34a-induced SIRT1 inhibition occurred at the posttranscriptional level. CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate that miR-34a acts as a tumor suppressor in p53-mutant glioma cells U251, partially through regulating SIRT1.CI - Crown Copyright 2010. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

miR-34a is a tumor suppressor.

We recently found that microRNA-34a (miR-34a) is downregulated in human glioma tumors as compared to normal brain, and that miR-34a levels in mutant-p53 gliomas were lower than in wildtype-p53 tumors. We showed that miR-34a expression in glioma and medulloblastoma cells inhibits cell proliferation, G1/S cell cycle progression, cell survival, cell migration and cell invasion, but that miR-34a expression in human astrocytes does not affect cell survival and cell cycle. We uncovered the oncogenes c-Met, Notch-1 and Notch-2 as direct targets of miR-34a that are inhibited by miR-34a transfection. We found that c-Met levels in human glioma specimens inversely correlate with miR-34a levels. We showed that c-Met and Notch partially mediate the inhibitory effects of miR-34a on cell proliferation and cell death. We also found that mir-34a expression inhibits in vivo glioma xenograft growth. We concluded that miR-34a is a potential tumor suppressor in brain tumors that acts by targeting multiple oncogenes. In this extra view, we briefly review and discuss the implications of these findings and present new data on the effects of miR-34a in glioma stem cells. The new data show that miR-34a expression inhibits various malignancy endpoints in glioma stem cells. Importantly, they also show for the first time that miR-34a expression induces glioma stem cell differentiation. Altogether, the data suggest that miR-34a is a tumor suppressor and a potential potent therapeutic agent that acts by targeting multiple oncogenic pathways in brain tumors and by inducing the differentiation of cancer stem cells.

miR-34a functions as a tumor suppressor in RB cells and is a potential therapeutic target.

PURPOSE: The role of miR-34a, a p53-regulated microRNA, in retinoblastoma (RB) was investigated. METHODS: The expression of miR-34 family members in RB cells was determined by semiquantitative RT-PCR and real-time qPCR. Regulation of miR-34a expression by p53-activating compounds was determined by qPCR analysis. The tumor suppressor functions of miR-34a in RB cell lines were determined by tetrazolium-based cell growth assay and by caspase-3/7 and activated caspase-3 apoptotic activity assays. Additive growth inhibitory properties of miR-34a in combination with topotecan were determined by cell growth assay. miR-34a targets in RB cells were identified by real-time qPCR expression analysis of previously reported and GenMiR++-predicted mRNAs. RESULTS: Differential miR-34a and miR-34b expression was observed in RB cell lines and tumor samples. miR-34a expression could be increased in Y79 cells, but not Weri-Rb1 cells, after p53 activation. This differential regulation was not caused by genomic alterations at the miR-34a p53 binding site or mature gene. Exogenous miR-34a inhibited Y79 and Weri-Rb1 cell growth and increased apoptotic activity in Y79 cells. Increased inhibition of Y79 and Weri-Rb1 cell growth was observed with combination miR-34a and topotecan treatment. mRNA expression changes were observed in 7 of 7 previously reported and 13 of 18 GenMiR++-predicted miR-34a targets after transfection of Y79 cells with miR-34a compared with negative control microRNA. CONCLUSIONS: miR-34a functions as a tumor suppressor in RB cells and is a potential therapeutic target. Differential expression, regulation, and activity of miR-34a in RB cells may suggest further p53 pathway inactivation in RB.

"miR-34a functions as a tumor suppressor, in part, through a SIRT1-p53 pathway"

microRNA 34a (miR-34a) is a tumor suppressor gene, but how it regulates cell proliferation is not completely understood. We now show that the microRNA miR-34a regulates silent information regulator 1 (SIRT1) expression. MiR-34a inhibits SIRT1 expression through a miR-34a-binding site within the 3' UTR of SIRT1. MiR-34 inhibition of SIRT1 leads to an increase in acetylated p53 and expression of p21 and PUMA, transcriptional targets of p53 that regulate the cell cycle and apoptosis, respectively. Furthermore, miR-34 suppression of SIRT1 ultimately leads to apoptosis in WT human colon cancer cells but not in human colon cancer cells lacking p53. Finally, miR-34a itself is a transcriptional target of p53, suggesting a positive feedback loop between p53 and miR-34a. Thus, miR-34a functions as a tumor suppressor, in part, through a SIRT1-p53 pathway.

miR-34a represents a tumor suppressor gene which is inactivated by CpG methylation and subsequent transcriptional silencing in a broad range of tumors.

Recently, we and others identified the microRNA miR-34a as a target of the tumor suppressor gene product p53. Ectopic miR-34a induces a G(1) cell cycle arrest, senescence and apoptosis. Here we report that miR-34a expression is silenced in several types of cancer due to aberrant CpG methylation of its promoter. 19 out of 24 (79.1%) primary prostate carcinomas displayed CpG methylation of the miR-34a promoter and concomitant loss of miR-34a expression. CpG methylation of the miR-34a promoter was also detected in breast (6/24; 25%), lung (7/24; 29.1%), colon (3/23; 13%), kidney (3/14; 21.4%), bladder (2/6; 33.3%) and pancreatic (3/19; 15.7%) carcinoma cell lines, as well as in melanoma cell lines (19/44; 43.2%) and primary melanoma (20/32 samples; 62.5%). Silencing of miR-34a was dominant over its transactivation by p53 after DNA damage. Re-expression of miR-34a in prostate and pancreas carcinoma cell lines induced senescence and cell cycle arrest at least in part by targeting CDK6. These results show that miR-34a represents a tumor suppressor gene which is inactivated by CpG methylation and subsequent transcriptional silencing in a broad range of tumors.

miR-34a is a tumor suppressor gene in human neuroblastoma

microRNAs are small noncoding RNAs that have critical roles in regulating a number of cellular functions through transcriptional silencing. They have been implicated as oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes (oncomirs) in several human neoplasms. We used an integrated genomics and functional screening strategy to identify potential oncomirs in the pediatric neoplasm neuroblastoma. We first identified microRNAs that map within chromosomal regions that we and others have defined as frequently deleted (1p36, 3p22, and 11q23-24) or gained (17q23) in high-risk neuroblastoma. We then transiently transfected microRNA precursor mimics or inhibitors into a panel of six neuroblastoma cell lines that we characterized for these genomic aberrations. The majority of transfections showed no phenotypic effect, but the miR-34a (1p36) and miR-34c (11q23) mimics showed dramatic growth inhibition in cell lines with 1p36 hemizygous deletion. In contrast, there was no growth inhibition by these mimics in cell lines without 1p36 deletions. Quantitative reverse transcription-PCR showed a perfect correlation of absent miR-34a expression in cell lines with a 1p36 aberration and phenotypic effect after mimetic add-back. expression of miR-34a was also decreased in primary tumors (n = 54) with 1p36 deletion (P = 0.009), but no mutations were discovered in resequencing of the miR-34a locus in 30 neuroblastoma cell lines. Flow cytometric time series analyses showed that the likely mechanism of miR-34a growth inhibition is through cell cycle arrest followed by apoptosis. BCL2 and MYCN were identified as miR-34a targets and likely mediators of the tumor suppressor phenotypic effect. These data support miR-34a as a tumor suppressor gene in human neuroblastoma.

MicroRNA-34a functions as a potential tumor suppressor by inducing apoptosis in neuroblastoma cells.

Neuroblastoma (NB) is one of the most common forms of cancer in children, accounting for 15% of pediatric cancer deaths. The clinical course of these tumors is highly variable and is dependent on such factors as age at presentation, stage, ploidy and genomic abnormalities. Hemizygous deletion of chromosome 1p occurs in approximately 30% of advanced stage tumors, is associated with a poor prognosis, and likely leads to the loss of one or more tumor suppressor genes. We show here that microRNA (miRNA)-34a (1p36.23) is generally expressed at lower levels in unfavorable primary NB tumors and cell lines relative to normal adrenal tissue and that reintroduction of this miRNA into three different NB cell lines causes a dramatic reduction in cell proliferation through the induction of a caspase-dependent apoptotic pathway. As a potential mechanistic explanation for this observation, we demonstrate that miR-34a directly targets the messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) encoding E2F3 and significantly reduces the levels of E2F3 protein, a potent transcriptional inducer of cell-cycle progression. Furthermore, miR-34a expression increases during retinoic acid-induced differentiation of the SK-N-BE cell line, whereas E2F3 protein levels decrease. Thus, adding to the increasing role of miRNAs in cancer, miR-34a may act as a suppressor of NB tumorgenesis.

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