Suppression of vascular endothelial growth factor expression in breast cancer cells by microRNA-125b-mediated attenuation of serum amyloid A activating factor-1 level

Alpana Ray1, Bimal K. Ray2

1Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri

Correspondence to:

Bimal K. Ray, email:rayb@missouri.edu

Keywords: Breast cancer; SAF-1, miR-125b; transcriptional regulation; VEGF expression

Received: December 05, 2018 Accepted: April 5, 2019 Published: July 2, 2019


Increased level of an inflammation-responsive transcription factor called serum amyloid A-activating factor (SAF-1) has been linked to the pathogenesis in human breast cancer. SAF-1 is found to promote vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression in breast carcinoma cells and boost angiogenesis. In an effort to develop a cellular mechanism to control VEGF expression, we sought to limit SAF-1 activity in breast cancer cells. We report here several targets within the SAF-1 mRNA for binding of microRNA-125b (miR-125b) and we show that VEGF expression is reduced in breast cancer cells when SAF-1 level is reduced with the microRNA action. Within the 3ยด un-translated region (UTR) of SAF-1 transcript, we have identified four highly conserved miR-125b responsive elements. We show that these miR-125b binding sites mediate repression of SAF-1 by miR-125b. Ectopic expression of miR-125b in nonmetastatic and metastatic breast cancer cells repressed SAF-1-mediated activity on VEGF promoter function and inhibited cancer cell migration and invasion potentials in vitro. Together, these results suggest that termination of SAF-1 function by miR-125b could be developed as a potential anti-VEGF and anti-angiogenic agent, which has high clinical relevance.

PII: 483