Activin and TGFß regulate expression of the microRNA-181 family to promote cell migration and invasion in breast cancer cells.

Cellular signalling

PubMedID: 23524334

Neel JC, Lebrun JJ. Activin and TGFß regulate expression of the microRNA-181 family to promote cell migration and invasion in breast cancer cells. Cell Signal. 2013;25(7):1556-66.
MicroRNA-181 (miR-181) is a multifaceted miRNA that has been implicated in many cellular processes such as cell fate determination and cellular invasion. While miR-181 is often overexpressed in human tumors, a direct role for this miRNA in breast cancer progression has not yet been characterized. In this study, we found this miRNA to be regulated by both activin and TGFß. While we found no effect of miR-181 modulation on activin/TGFß-mediated tumor suppression, our data clearly indicate that miR-181 plays a critical and prominent role downstream of two growth factors, in mediating their pro-migratory and pro-invasive effects in breast cancer cells miR-181 acts as a metastamir in breast cancer. Thus, our findings define a novel role for miR-181 downstream of activin/TGFß in regulating their tumor promoting functions. Having defined miR-181 as a critical regulator of tumor progression in vitro, our results thus, highlight miR-181 as an important potential therapeutic target in breast cancer.