Analysis of the combined action of miR-143 and miR-145 on oncogenic pathways in colorectal cancer cells reveals a coordinate program of gene repression

A. Pagliuca, Alfredo Pagliuca, C. Valvo, Cecilia Valvo, E. Fabrizi, S. Di Martino, Susanna Di Martino, M. Biffoni, D. Runci, S. Forte, Ruggero De Maria Marchiano, L. Ricci-Vitiani

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142 Citations (Scopus)


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) from the gene cluster miR-143–145 are diminished in cells of colorectal tumor origin when compared with normal colon epithelia. Until now, no report has addressed the coordinate action of these miRNAs in colorectal cancer (CRC). In this study, we performed a comprehensive molecular and functional analysis of the miRNA cluster regulatory network. First, we evaluated proliferation, migration, anchorage-independent growth and chemoresistance in the colon tumor cell lines after miR-143 and miR-145 restoration. Then, we assessed the contribution of single genes targeted by miR-143 and miR-145 by reinforcing their expression and checking functional recovery. Restoring miR-143 and miR-145 in colon cancer cells decreases proliferation, migration and chemoresistance. We identified cluster of differentiation 44 (CD44), Kruppel-like factor 5 (KLF5), Kirsten rat sarcoma 2 viral oncogene homolog (KRAS) and v-Raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B1 (BRAF) as proteins targeted by miR-143 and miR- 145. Their re-expression can partially revert a decrease in transformation properties caused by the overexpression of miR-143 and miR- 145. In addition, we determined a set of mRNAs that are diminished after reinforcing miR-143 and miR-145 expression. The whole transcriptome analysis ascertained that downregulated transcripts are enriched in predicted target genes in a statistically significant manner. A number of additional genes, whose expression decreases as a direct or indirect consequence of miR-143 and miR-145, reveals a complex regulatory network that affects cell signaling pathways involved in transformation. In conclusion, we identified a coordinated program of gene repression by miR-143 and miR-145, in CRC, where either of the two miRNAs share a target transcript, or where the target transcripts share a common signaling pathway. Major mediators of the oncosuppression by miR-143 and miR-145 are genes belonging to the growth factor receptor–mitogen-activated protein kinase network and to the p53 signaling pathway
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • colorectal cancer
  • miRNA
  • microarray
  • signaling pathway


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