Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) regulates miR17–92 cluster through β-catenin pathway in colorectal cancer

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Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) mutation is the most common genetic change in sporadic colorectal cancer (CRC). Although deregulations of miRNAs have been frequently reported in this malignancy, APC-regulated miRNAs have not been extensively documented. Here, by using an APC-inducible cell line and array analysis, we identified a total of 26 deregulated miRNAs. Among them, members of miR-17–92 cluster were dramatically inhibited by APC and induced by enforced expression of β-catenin. Furthermore, we demonstrate that activated β-catenin resulted from APC loss binds to and activates the miR-17–92 promoter. Notably, enforced expression of miR-19a overrides APC tumor suppressor activity, and knockdown of miR-19a in cancer cells with compromised APC function reduced their aggressive features in vitro. Finally, we observed that expression of miR-19a significantly correlates with β-catenin levels in colorectal cancer specimens, and it is associated to the aggressive stage of tumor progression. Thus, our study reveals that miR-17–92 cluster is directly regulated by APC/β-catenin pathway and could be a potential therapeutic target in colon cancers with aberrant APC/β-catenin signaling.

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