microRNA-7-5p inhibits melanoma cell proliferation and metastasis by suppressing RelA/NF-?B

Keith Giles, Rikki A. Brown, Clarissa Ganda, Melissa Podgorny, Patrick Candy, Larissa C. Wintle, Kirsty L. Richardson, Felicity C. Kalinowski, Lisa M. Stuart, Michael R. Epis, N.K. Haass, M. Herlyn, Peter J. Leedman

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65 Citations (Scopus)


microRNA-7-5p (miR-7-5p) is a tumor suppressor in multiple cancer types and inhibits growth and invasion by suppressing expression and activity of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling pathway. While melanoma is not typically EGFR-driven, expression of miR-7-5p is reduced in metastatic tumors compared to primary melanoma. Here, we investigated the biological and clinical significance of miR-7-5p in melanoma. We found that augmenting miR-7-5p expression in vitro markedly reduced tumor cell viability, colony formation and induced cell cycle arrest. Furthermore, ectopic expression of miR-7-5p reduced migration and invasion of melanoma cells in vitro and reduced metastasis in vivo. We used cDNA microarray analysis to identify a subset of putative miR-7-5p target genes associated with melanoma and metastasis. Of these, we confirmed nuclear factor kappa B (NF-?B) subunit RelA, as a novel direct target of miR-7-5p in melanoma cells, such that miR-7- 5p suppresses NF-?B activity to decrease expression of canonical NF-?B target genes, including IL-1ß, IL-6 and IL-8. Importantly, the effects of miR-7-5p on melanoma cell growth, cell cycle, migration and invasion were recapitulated by RelA knockdown. Finally, analysis of gene array datasets from multiple melanoma patient cohorts revealed an association between elevated RelA expression and poor survival, further emphasizing the clinical significance of RelA and its downstream signaling effectors. Taken together, our data show that miR-7-5p is a potent inhibitor of melanoma growth and metastasis, in part through its inactivation of RelA/NF-?B signaling. Furthermore, miR-7-5p replacement therapy could have a role in the treatment of this disease.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31663-31680
Number of pages18
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2016


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