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Cancer Cell International


Background: Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is an aggressive subtype of breast cancer characterized by the lack of estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and HER2. Our lab previously characterized miR-3189-3p as a microRNA with potent anti-cancer activity against glioblastoma. Here, we hypothesized a similar activity in TNBC cells. As miR-3189-3p is predicted to target a variety of RNA binding proteins, we further hypothesized an inhibitory effect of this miRNA on protein synthesis. Methods: MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-468 cells were used to investigate the effect of miR-3189-3p on cell proliferation, migration, and invasion. TGCA database was used to analyze the expression of miR-3189-3p, c-MYC, 4EPB1, and eIF4E in breast cancer. Western blotting and RT-qPCR assays were used to assess the expression of selected proteins and RNAs after transfections. Results: Although c-MYC is not a predicted gene target for miR-3189-3p, we discovered that c-MYC protein is downregulated in miRNA-treated TNBC cells. We found that the downregulation of c-MYC by miR-3189-3p occurs in both normal growth conditions and in the absence of serum. The mechanism involved the direct inhibition of eIF4EBP1 by miR-3189-3p. Additionally, we found that miR-3189-3p could negatively affect cap-independent translation mediated by internal ribosome entry sites (IRES) or by m6A. Finally, miR-3189-3p sensitized TNBC cells to doxorubicin. Conclusion: Overall, results indicated that miR-3189-3p exerts its anti-tumor activity through targeting translational regulatory proteins leading to an impairment in c-MYC translation, and possibly other oncogenic factors, suggesting that miR-3189-3p, alone or in combination, could be a valuable therapeutic approach against a malignancy with few treatment options.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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