Dual suppressive effect of miR-34A on the FOXM1/EEF2-kinase axis regulates triple-negative breast cancer growth and invasion

Recep Bayraktar, Cristina Ivan, Emine Bayraktar, Pinar Kanlikilicer, Nashwa N. Kabil, Nermin Kahraman, Hamada A. Mokhlis, Didem Karakas, Cristian Rodriguez-Aguayo, Ahmet Arslan, Jianting Sheng, Stephen Wong, Gabriel Lopez-Berestein, George A. Calin, Bulent Ozpolat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Purpose: Recent studies indicated that dysregulation of noncoding RNAs (ncRNA) such as miRNAs is involved in pathogenesis of various human cancers. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying miR-34a are not fully understood in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Experimental Design: We performed in vitro functional assays on TNBC cell lines to investigate the role of miR-34a in FOXM1/eEF2K signaling axis. TNBC tumor xenograft models were used for in vivo therapeutic delivery of miR-34a. Results: In this study, we investigated the role of p53-driven ncRNA miR-34a and found that miR-34a is associated with significantly longer patient survival in TNBC and inversely correlated with levels of proto-oncogenic eEF2K, which was associated with significantly shorter overall patient survival. We showed that miR-34a directly binds to the 30-untranslated region of eEF2K and FOXM1 mRNAs and suppresses their expression, leading to inhibition of TNBC cell proliferation, motility, and invasion. Notably, restoring miR-34a expression recapitulated the effects of inhibition of eEF2K and FOXM1, the transcription factor for eEF2K and the direct target of p53, in TNBC cell lines, whereas overexpression of eEF2K and FOXM1 rescued the effects and signaling pathways mediated by miR-34a. Moreover, in vivo therapeutic delivery of miR-34a nanoparticles by systemic intravenous administration delayed tumor growth of two different orthotopic TNBC tumor xenograft models by inhibiting eEF2K and FOXM1, intratumoral proliferation and angiogenesis, and inducing apoptosis. Conclusions: Overall, our findings provide new insights into the tumor suppressor role of miR-34a by dual-targeting of FOXM1/eEF2K signaling axis and suggest that miR-34a–based gene therapy may be a potential therapeutic strategy in TNBC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4225-4241
Number of pages17
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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