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Can the microRNA expression profile help to identify novel targets for zoledronic acid in breast cancer?

  • Autori: Fanale, D.; Amodeo, V.; Bazan, V.; Insalaco, L.; Incorvia L; Barraco, N.; Castiglia, M.; Rizzo, S.; Santini, D.; Giordano, A.; Castorina, S.; Russo, A.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2016
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • OA Link:


Zoledronic acid (ZOL), belonging to third generation bisphosphonate family, is a potent inhibitor of osteoclast-mediated bone resorption, widely used to effectively prevent osteolysis in breast cancer patients who develop bone metastases. Low doses of ZOL have been shown to exhibit a direct anticancer role, by inhibiting cell adhesion, invasion, cytoskeleton remodelling and proliferation in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. In order to identify the molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways underlying the anticancer activity exerted by ZOL, we analyzed for the first time the microRNA expression profile in breast cancer cells. A large-scale microarray analysis of 377 miRNAs was performed on MCF7 cells treated with 10 μM ZOL for 24 h compared to untreated cells. Furthermore, the expression of specific ZOL-induced miRNAs was analyzed in MCF-7 and SkBr3 cells through Real-time PCR. Low-dose treatment with ZOL significantly altered expression of 54 miRNAs. Nine upregulated and twelve downregulated miRNAs have been identified after 24 h of treatment. Also, ZOL induced expression of 11 specific miRNAs and silenced expression of 22 miRNAs. MiRNA data analysis revealed the involvement of differentially expressed miRNAs in PI3K/Akt, MAPK, Wnt, TGF-Β, Jak-STAT and mTOR signaling pathways, and regulation of actin cytoskeleton. Our results have been shown to be perfectly coherent with the recent findings reported in literature concerning changes in expression of some miRNAs involved in bone metastasis formation, progression, therapy resistance in breast cancer. In conclusion, this data supports the hypothesis that ZOL-induced modification of the miRNA expression profile contributes to the anticancer efficacy of this agent.