PloS one

miR-200c targets a NF-κB up-regulated TrkB/NTF3 autocrine signaling loop to enhance anoikis sensitivity in triple negative breast cancer.

PMID 23185507


Anoikis is apoptosis initiated upon cell detachment from the native extracellular matrix. Since survival upon detachment from basement membrane is required for metastasis, the ability to resist anoikis contributes to the metastatic potential of breast tumors. miR-200c, a potent repressor of epithelial to mesenchymal transition, is expressed in luminal breast cancers, but is lost in more aggressive basal-like, or triple negative breast cancers (TNBC). We previously demonstrated that miR-200c restores anoikis sensitivity to TNBC cells by directly targeting the neurotrophic receptor tyrosine kinase, TrkB. In this study, we identify a TrkB ligand, neurotrophin 3 (NTF3), as capable of activating TrkB to induce anoikis resistance, and show that NTF3 is also a direct target of miR-200c. We present the first evidence that anoikis resistant TNBC cells up-regulate both TrkB and NTF3 when suspended, and show that this up-regulation is necessary for survival in suspension. We further demonstrate that NF-κB activity increases 6 fold in suspended TNBC cells, and identify RelA and NF-κB1 as the transcription factors responsible for suspension-induced up-regulation of TrkB and NTF3. Consequently, inhibition of NF-κB activity represses anoikis resistance. Taken together, our findings define a critical mechanism for transcriptional and post-transcriptional control of suspension-induced up-regulation of TrkB and NTF3 in anoikis resistant breast cancer cells.