Multi-modal delivery of microRNA-203 to suppress migration and stemness in triple-negative breast cancer cell lines via repression of distinct target profiles.


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Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a crucial embryonic program and an important mechanism for cancer cells to facilitate cellular dissociation from the primary tumor and entry into the blood circulation to drive metastatic dissemination. EMT also endows tumor cells with enhanced stemness which confers increased tumor-initiating potential. MicroRNAs are small, non-coding RNAs that negatively regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally by inhibiting target mRNA translation or by promoting mRNA degradation. miRNA-203 is a tumor suppressor and can promote differentiation of normal epidermal stem cells. In this study, we tested the ability of miR-203 overexpression to reverse aspects of EMT from gene expression to migration and stemness among breast cancer and EMT cell lines. We also show that translationally relevant methods for increasing miR-203 expression such as inducible vectors and nanoparticles similarly affect cellular properties despite differences in the suppression of target proteins.



Breast cancer. EMT. MicroRNA.