MicroRNA-150 directly targets MUC4 and suppresses growth and malignant behavior of pancreatic cancer cells

Academic Article


  • Pancreatic cancer (PC) has the worst prognosis among all cancers due to its late diagnosis and lack of effective therapies. Therefore, identification of novel gene targets, which are differentially expressed in PC and functionally involved in malignant phenotypes, is critical to achieve early diagnosis and development of effective therapeutic strategies. We have shown previously that MUC4, an aberrantly overexpressed transmembrane mucin, promotes growth, invasion and metastasis of PC cells, thus underscoring its potential as a clinical target. Here, we report a novel microRNA (miRNA)-mediated mechanism underlying aberrant expression of MUC4 in PC. We demonstrate that the 3′ untranslated region of MUC4 contains a highly conserved miRNA-150 (miR-150) binding motif and its direct interaction with miR-150 downregulates endogenous MUC4 protein levels. We also show that miR-150-mediated MUC4 downregulation is associated with a concomitant decrease in human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 and its phosphorylated form, leading to reduced activation of downstream signaling. Furthermore, our findings demonstrate that miR-150 overexpression inhibits growth, clonogenicity, migration and invasion and enhances intercellular adhesion in PC cells. Finally, our data reveal a downregulated expression of miR-150 in malignant pancreatic tissues, which is inversely associated with MUC4 protein levels. Altogether, these findings establish miR-150 as a novel regulator of MUC4 and a tumor suppressor miRNA in PC. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Srivastava SK; Bhardwaj A; Singh S; Arora S; Wang B; Grizzle WE; Singh AP
  • Start Page

  • 1832
  • End Page

  • 1839
  • Volume

  • 32
  • Issue

  • 12