Tumor Biology

, Volume 37, Issue 7, pp 8993–9000 | Cite as

MicroRNA-340 inhibits the migration, invasion, and metastasis of breast cancer cells by targeting Wnt pathway

  • Samira Mohammadi-Yeganeh
  • Mahdi Paryan
  • Ehsan Arefian
  • Mohammad Vasei
  • Hossein Ghanbarian
  • Reza Mahdian
  • Morteza Karimipoor
  • Masoud Soleimani
Original Article


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play a key role in tumor metastasis based on their capacity to regulate the expression of tumor-related genes. Over-expression of key genes such as c-MYC and CTNNB1 (encoding β-catenin) in Wnt/β-catenin-dependent and ROCK1 in Wnt/β-catenin-independent signaling pathways (Rho/Rho-associated kinase (ROCK) signaling pathway) has already been identified as the hallmarks of many tumors, and their role in breast cancer has also been investigated and confirmed. miR-340 characterization as an onco-suppressor miRNA has been previously reported. However, the mechanism by which it inhibits metastasis has not been completely elucidated. Quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR), Western blot, and luciferase assays were used to confirm the effect of miR-340 on the 3′-untranslated region (UTR) of the target genes. Lentiviral particles containing miR-340 were also used to evaluate the effect of miR-340 restoration on cell proliferation, migration, and invasion in vitro in the invasive MDA-MB-231 cell line. By applying bioinformatic approaches for the prediction of miRNAs targeting 3′-UTRs of CTNNB1, c-MYC, and ROCK1, we found out that miR-340 could dramatically down-regulate metastasis by targeting Wnt signaling in breast cancer cells. In the current study, analyzing miR-340 by reverse transcription quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) in MDA-MB-231 showed that it was remarkably down-regulated in the metastatic breast cancer cell line. We found that restoration of miR-340 in the invasive breast cancer cell line, MDA-MB-231, suppresses the expression of the target genes’ messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein and, as a result, inhibits tumor cell invasion and metastasis. Our findings highlight the ability of bioinformatic approaches to find miRNAs targeting specific genes. By bioinformatic analysis, we confirmed the important role of miR-340 as a pivotal regulator of breast cancer metastasis in targeting previously validated (ROCK1) and potentially novel genes, i.e., (CTNNB1 and c-MYC).


MicroRNA-340 Breast cancer Metastasis CTNNB1 ROCK1 c-MYC 



The authors should thank colleagues in Cellular and Molecular Biology Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, Orleigh Bogle, and Vahid Kia for kindly revising of the manuscript and also Stem Cell Technology Research Center, Tehran, Iran, for technical help. This work was supported by Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran [grant number BP-8698], and Stem Cell Technology Research Center, Tehran, Iran [grant number 302].

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest


Supplementary material

13277_2015_4513_MOESM1_ESM.doc (28 kb)
Supplementary Table 1 The sequence of primers for 3’-UTRs cloning in psi-CHECK2® vector. Overhangs of MluI and NotI enzymes are underlined. (DOC 28 kb)


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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samira Mohammadi-Yeganeh
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mahdi Paryan
    • 3
  • Ehsan Arefian
    • 4
  • Mohammad Vasei
    • 5
  • Hossein Ghanbarian
    • 1
    • 2
  • Reza Mahdian
    • 6
  • Morteza Karimipoor
    • 6
  • Masoud Soleimani
    • 7
    • 8
  1. 1.Cellular and Molecular Biology Research CenterShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of Biotechnology, School of Advanced Technologies in MedicineShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  3. 3.Department of Research and Development, Production and Research ComplexPasteur Institute of IranTehranIran
  4. 4.Department of Microbiology, School of Biology, College of ScienceUniversity of TehranTehranIran
  5. 5.Department of Pathology, Shariati HospitalTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  6. 6.Department of Molecular Medicine, Biotechnology Research CenterPasteur Institute of IranTehranIran
  7. 7.Department of Hematology, School of Medical ScienceTarbiat Modares UniversityTehranIran
  8. 8.Department of Molecular Biology and Genetic EngineeringStem Cell Technology Research CenterTehranIran

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