The Journal of biological chemistry

Down-regulation of MicroRNAs (MiRs) 203, 887, 3619 and 182 Prevents Vimentin-triggered, Phospholipase D (PLD)-mediated Cancer Cell Invasion.

PMID 26567912


Breast cancer is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among women. Metastasis is initiated after epithelial-mesenchymal-transition (EMT). We have found a connection between EMT markers and the expression of four microRNAs (miRs) mediated by the signaling enzyme phospholipase D (PLD). Low aggressive MCF-7 breast cancer cells have low endogenous PLD enzymatic activity and cell invasion, concomitant with high expression of miR-203, -887, and -3619 (that decrease PLD2 translation and a luciferase reporter) and miR-182 (targeting PLD1) that are, therefore, "tumor-suppressor-like" miRs. The combination miR-887+miR-3619 abolished >90% of PLD enzymatic activity. Conversely, post-EMT MDA-MB-231 cells have low miR expression, high levels of PLD1/2, and high aggressiveness. The latter was reversed by ectopically transfecting the miRs, which was negated by silencing miRs with specific siRNAs. We determined that the molecular mechanism is that E-cadherin triggers expression of the miRs in pre-EMT cells, whereas vimentin dampens expression of the miRs in post-EMT invasive cells. This novel work identifies for the first time a set of miRs that are activated by a major pre-EMT marker and deactivated by a post-EMT marker, boosting the transition from low invasion to high invasion, as mediated by the key phospholipid metabolism enzyme PLD.