Breast Cancer

MicroRNAs function as tumor suppressor in breast cancer

Researchers have investigated the effect of microRNAs on ErbB/PI3K signaling pathway in breast tumor cells.

Although we have witnessed large advancements in our knowledge of breast cancer and its underlying causes, the exact mechanisms behind this disease are still not completely understood. Thus it is crucial to investigate the molecular interactions which lead to the development of cancer cells. This will lead to the development of better diagnostic tools and more effective treatments.

MicroRNAs and ErbB/PI3K signaling pathway

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a family of small non-coding RNAs with 19 to 25 nucleotides which could act as tumor suppressors. Recent scientific advancements have elucidated the role of microRNAs in different physiologic and pathologic situations. It has been speculated that the abnormal expression of microRNAs could be involved in the advancement of tumor cells.

ErbB/PI3K is a signaling pathway which has an important role in the regulation of breast cancer cells growth. Since microRNAs are involved in the regulation of different signaling pathways, the interaction between microRNAs and ErbB/PI3K signaling pathway require further attention.

Effect of microRNAs on tumor cells

In this new study, researchers from Tarbiat Modarres University have used different techniques including RT-PCR and dual luciferase assay to target various genes, including ErbB, by miR-326. ErbBs are a group of genes in Tyrosine Kinase family. ErbBs activation has been linked to development and progression of different tumor cells. Researchers observed that miR-326 could suppress ErbB/PI3K signaling pathway. Researchers also found that up-regulation of miR-326 significantly reduced cell growth, cell cycle associated genes expression, colony formation and induction of apoptosis. Further, miR-326 was less expressed in aggressive breast tumor cells compared to less-aggressive cells.

Researchers concluded that miR-326 expression changes in breast tumor cells and miR-326 can suppress replication and progression of cancer cells. Thus, by inhibiting ErbB/PI3K signaling pathway, miR-326 could be a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of patients who suffer from breast cancer.

Zist Fan
Frontiers in Oncology
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