Ubiquitous release of exosomal tumor suppressor miR-6126 from ovarian cancer cells

Pinar Kanlikilicer, Mohammed H. Rashed, Recep Bayraktar, Rahul Mitra, Cristina Ivan, Burcu Aslan, Xinna Zhang, Justyna Filant, Andreia M. Silva, Cristian Rodriguez-Aguayo, Emine Bayraktar, Martin Pichler, Bulent Ozpolat, George A. Calin, Anil K. Sood, Gabriel Lopez-Berestein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


Cancer cells actively promote their tumorigenic behavior by reprogramming gene expression. Loading intraluminal vesicles with specific miRNAs and releasing them into the tumor microenvironment as exosomes is one mechanism of reprogramming whose regulation remains to be elucidated. Here, we report that miR-6126 is ubiquitously released in high abundance from both chemosensitive and chemoresistant ovarian cancer cells via exosomes. Overexpression of miR-6126 was confirmed in healthy ovarian tissue compared with ovarian cancer patient samples and correlated with better overall survival in patients with high-grade serous ovarian cancer. miR-6126 acted as a tumor suppressor by directly targeting integrin-β1, a key regulator of cancer cell metastasis. miR-6126 mimic treatment of cancer cells resulted in increased miR-6126 and decreased integrin-β1 mRNA levels in the exosome. Functional analysis showed that treatment of endothelial cells with miR-6126 mimic significantly reduced tube formation as well as invasion and migration capacities of ovarian cancer cells in vitro. Administration of miR-6126 mimic in an orthotopic mouse model of ovarian cancer elicited a relative reduction in tumor growth, proliferating cells, and microvessel density. miR-6126 inhibition promoted oncogenic behavior by leading ovarian cancer cells to release more exosomes. Our findings provide new insights into the role of exosomal miRNA-mediated tumor progression and suggest a new therapeutic approach to disrupt oncogenic phenotypes in tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7194-7207
Number of pages14
JournalCancer research
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 15 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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