Molecular Cancer

, 11:58

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Regulation of colony stimulating factor-1 expression and ovarian cancer cell behavior in vitro by miR-128 and miR-152

  • Ho-Hyung WooAffiliated withArizona Cancer Center, University of Arizona Email author  
  • , Csaba F LászlóAffiliated withArizona Cancer Center, University of Arizona 
  • , Stephen GrecoAffiliated withArizona Cancer Center, University of Arizona
  • , Setsuko K ChambersAffiliated withArizona Cancer Center, University of Arizona Email author 



Colony stimulating factor-1 (CSF-1) plays an important role in ovarian cancer biology and as a prognostic factor in ovarian cancer. Elevated levels of CSF-1 promote progression of ovarian cancer, by binding to CSF-1R (the tyrosine kinase receptor encoded by c-fms proto-oncogene).

Post-transcriptional regulation of CSF-1 mRNA by its 3’ untranslated region (3’UTR) has been studied previously. Several cis-acting elements in 3’UTR are involved in post-transcriptional regulation of CSF-1 mRNA. These include conserved protein-binding motifs as well as miRNA targets. miRNAs are 21-23nt single strand RNA which bind the complementary sequences in mRNAs, suppressing translation and enhancing mRNA degradation.


In this report, we investigate the effect of miRNAs on post-transcriptional regulation of CSF-1 mRNA in human ovarian cancer. Bioinformatics analysis predicts at least 14 miRNAs targeting CSF-1 mRNA 3’UTR. By mutations in putative miRNA targets in CSF-1 mRNA 3’UTR, we identified a common target for both miR-128 and miR-152. We have also found that both miR-128 and miR-152 down-regulate CSF-1 mRNA and protein expression in ovarian cancer cells leading to decreased cell motility and adhesion in vitro, two major aspects of the metastatic potential of cancer cells.


The major CSF-1 mRNA 3’UTR contains a common miRNA target which is involved in post-transcriptional regulation of CSF-1. Our results provide the evidence for a mechanism by which miR-128 and miR-152 down-regulate CSF-1, an important regulator of ovarian cancer.


miR-128 miR-152 CSF-1 mRNA Post-transcriptional regulation motility and adhesion