Scientific reports

Epigenetic silencing of miR-19a-3p by cold atmospheric plasma contributes to proliferation inhibition of the MCF-7 breast cancer cell.

PMID 27445062


Cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) has been proposed as a useful cancer treatment option after showing higher induction of cell death in cancer cells than in normal cells. Although a few studies have contributed to elucidating the molecular mechanism by which CAP differentially inhibits cancer cell proliferation, no results are yet to be reported related to microRNA (miR). In this study, miR-19a-3p (miR-19a) was identified as a mediator of the cell proliferation-inhibitory effect of CAP in the MCF-7 breast cancer cell. CAP treatment of MCF-7 induced hypermethylation at the promoter CpG sites and downregulation of miR-19a, which was known as an oncomiR. The overexpression of miR-19a in MCF-7 increased cell proliferation, and CAP deteriorated the effect. The target genes of miR-19a, such as ABCA1 and PTEN, that had been suppressed by miR recovered their expression through CAP treatment. In addition, an inhibitor of reactive oxygen species that is produced by CAP suppressed the effect of CAP on cell proliferation. Taken together, the present study, to the best of authors' knowledge, is the first to identify the involvement of a miR, which is dysregulated by the CAP and results in the anti-proliferation effect of CAP on cancer cells.