The American journal of pathology

Epigenetic Silencing of miRNA-34a in Human Cholangiocarcinoma via EZH2 and DNA Methylation: Impact on Regulation of Notch Pathway.

PMID 28923203


Aberrant expression and regulation of miRNAs have been implicated in multiple stages of tumorigenic processes. The current study was designed to explore the biological function and epigenetic regulation of miR-34a in human cholangiocarcinoma (CCA). Our data show that the expression of miR-34a is decreased significantly in CCA cells compared with non-neoplastic biliary epithelial cells. Forced overexpression of miR-34a in CCA cells inhibited their proliferation and clonogenic capacity in vitro, and suppressed tumor xenograft growth in severe combined immunodeficiency mice. We identified three key components of the Notch pathway, Notch1, Notch2, and Jagged 1, as direct targets of miR-34a. Our further studies show that down-regulation of miR-34a is caused by Enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2)-mediated H3 lysine 27 trimethylation as well as DNA methylation. Accordingly, treatment with the EZH2 inhibitor, selective S-adenosyl-methionine-competitive small-molecule (GSK126), or the DNA methylation inhibitor, 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine, partially restored miR-34a levels in human CCA cells. Immunohistochemical staining and Western blot analyses showed increased EZH2 expression in human CCA tissues and cell lines. We observed that GSK126 significantly reduced CCA cell growth in vitro and intrahepatic metastasis in vivo. Our findings provide novel evidence that miR-34a expression is silenced epigenetically by EZH2 and DNA methylation, which promotes CCA cell growth through activation of the Notch pathway. Consequently, these signaling cascades may represent potential therapeutic targets for effective treatment of human CCA.

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EHU073481 MISSION® esiRNA, esiRNA human EZH2 (esiRNA1)