Tumor Biology

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 1599–1607 | Cite as

MiR-944 functions as a novel oncogene and regulates the chemoresistance in breast cancer

  • Haifei He
  • Wei Tian
  • Hailong Chen
  • Kai Jiang
Original Article


MircroRNAs are emerging as critical regulators in carcinogenesis and chemoresistance in multiple cancer types. In this study, we observed that the miR-944 level was upregulated in breast cancer patients’ serum and tumor tissues, suggesting that miR-944 is a tumor promoter in breast cancer. To investigate the role of miR-944, we performed gain- and loss-of-function experiments in vitro. We then demonstrated that miR-944 promotes cell proliferation and tumor metastasis in breast cancer cell lines. Furthermore, we indicated that miR-944 is associated with cisplatin resistance by targeting BNIP3. Knockdown of the miR-944 by specific inhibitors significantly increased the cytotoxicity of cisplatin in cisplatin-resistant MCF-7 cells (MCF-7/R). Importantly, we found that the sensitization of miR-944 inhibitors to cisplatin cytotoxicity was abolished by BNIP3 siRNA which decreased the expression of BNIP3 gene. Finally, we demonstrated that miR-944 inhibitors promoted the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) caused by cisplatin in MCF-7/R cells, resulting in the release of mitochondria-derived apoptogenic proteins into cytoplasm, and then, the caspase-3 was activated. In summary, our study showed that miR-944 functions as a novel oncogene and regulates the cisplatin resistance in breast cancer. The miR-944-BNIP3-MMP-caspase-3 pathway might be a novel target for the chemotherapy of breast cancer.


Breast cancer MiR-944 Oncogene BNIP3 Cisplatin resistance 



Thanks are due to Medical and health research projects in Zhejiang Province (grant no: 2014KYA094) and The Key Laboratory of Cancer Prevention and Intervention, China National Ministry of Education for supporting this study

Compliance with ethical standards

The study was approved by Ethic Committee of The Second Affiliated Hospital, School of medicine, Zhejiang University.

Author contributions

KJ designed the study. KJ and HH wrote the manuscript. HH and WT performed out the immunohistochemistry and the related statistical analysis. HH, HC, and KJ carried out the cell culture and transfection, Western blot, RT-PCR, and flow Ccytometry. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript.

Conflicts of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Haifei He
    • 1
  • Wei Tian
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hailong Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kai Jiang
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Surgical OncologyThe Second Affiliated Hospital, School of medicine, Zhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina
  2. 2.Cancer Institute (The Key Laboratory of Cancer Prevention and Intervention, China National Ministry of Education)The Second Affiliated Hospital, School of medicine, Zhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina
  3. 3.Department of Clinical LaboratoryTongde Hospital of Zhejiang ProvinceHangzhou city provinceChina

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