MicroRNA-199a and -214 as potential therapeutic targets in pancreatic stellate cells in pancreatic tumor

Praneeth R. Kuninty, Linda Bojmar, Vegard Tjomsland, Marie Larsson, Gert Storm, Arne Östman, Per Sandström, Jai Prakash

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Pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs) are the key precursor cells for cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) in pancreatic tumor stroma. In this study, we explored miRNA as therapeutic targets in tumor stroma and found miR-199a-3p and miR-214-3p induced in patient-derived pancreatic CAFs and TGF-β-activated human PSCs (hPSCs). Inhibition of miR-199a/-214 using hairpin inhibitors significantly inhibited TGFβ-induced differentiation markers (e.g. α-SMA, collagen, PDGFβR), migration and proliferation. Furthermore, heterospheroids of Panc-1 and hPSCs attained smaller size with hPSCs transfected with anti-miR-199a/-214 compared to control anti-miR. The conditioned medium obtained from TGFβ-activated hPSCs induced tumor cell growth and endothelial cell tube formation. Interestingly, these inductions were abrogated in hPSCs transfected with anti-miR-199a or miR-214. Moreover, IPA analyses revealed signaling pathways related to miR-199a (TP53, mTOR, Smad1) and miR-214 (PTEN, Bax, ING4). Taken together, this study reveals miR-199a-3p and miR-214-3p as major regulators of PSC activation and PSC-induced pro-tumoral effects, representing them as key therapeutic targets in pancreatic cancer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16396-16408
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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