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British journal of cancer

MicroRNA-18a modulates STAT3 activity through negative regulation of PIAS3 during gastric adenocarcinogenesis.


PMID 23322197

Abstract

MicroRNA (miRNA, miR)-18a is a member of the miR-17-92 cluster, an important locus that is markedly overexpressed in several cancers and associated with cancer development and progression. However, the mechanism of action of the miR-17-92 cluster and its individual miRNAs are largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the expression of the miR-17-92 cluster by in situ hybridisation (ISH) assay and copy-number analysis in gastric tissue microarray (TMA) specimens. We determined that miR-18a was present at higher levels than the other five miRNAs in the cluster. In addition, we identified Protein Inhibitor of Activated Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3 (PIAS3) as a direct target of miR-18a in gastric cancer. miR-18a level was positively correlated with levels of Survivin, Bcl-xL, and c-Myc, which are downstream transcriptional targets of Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3 (STAT3). STAT3-induced transcription can be negatively regulated by PIAS3; consistent with this, PIAS3 level was negatively correlated with levels of Survivin, Bcl-xL, and c-Myc. Our findings indicate that miR-18a acts as an oncogene and plays a role in gastric adenocarcinogenesis, at least in part by negatively regulating PIAS3 and thereby modulating expression of STAT3 target genes.