Research ArticleCancer

miR-29 Acts as a Decoy in Sarcomas to Protect the Tumor Suppressor A20 mRNA from Degradation by HuR

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Science Signaling  30 Jul 2013:
Vol. 6, Issue 286, pp. ra63
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2004177

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Decoy MicroRNAs as Tumor Suppressors

MicroRNAs are noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression. In sarcomas, the expression of the microRNA miR-29 is suppressed by NF-κB (nuclear factor κB). Balkhi et al. found that human sarcomas had decreased abundance of miR-29 and A20, an inhibitor of NF-κB, compared with normal tissue or cells but increased abundance of HuR, an RNA binding protein that has binding sites in both miR-29 and the A20 transcript. Inhibition of miR-29 increased HuR-mediated degradation of A20 mRNA, resulting in reduced A20 protein and activation of NF-κB. Overexpression of miR-29 in sarcoma cells inhibited the interaction of A20 mRNA with both HuR and the RNA-induced silencing complex subunit Ago2, increasing the abundance of A20 mRNA and protein. Thus, miR-29 functions as a decoy that prevents HuR-mediated degradation of A20, and loss of this pathway may contribute to NF-κB signaling in sarcoma.

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