Activation of miR200 by c-Myb depends on ZEB1 expression and miR200 promoter methylation

Marco Pieraccioli, Francesca Imbastari, Alexey Antonov, Gerry Melino, Giuseppe Raschellà

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tumor progression to metastasis is a complex, sequential process that requires proliferation, resistance to apoptosis, motility and invasion to colonize at distant sites. The acquisition of these features implies a phenotypic plasticity by tumor cells that must adapt to different conditions by modulating several signaling pathways1 during the journey to the final site of metastasis. Several transcription factors and microRNA play a role in tumor progression, but less is known about the control of their expression during this process. Here, we demonstrate by ectopic expression and gene silencing that the proto-oncogene c-Myb activates the expression of the 5 members of miR200 family (miR200b, miR200a, miR429, miR200c and miR141) that are involved in the control of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and metastasis in many types of cancers. Transcriptional activation of miR200 by c-Myb occurs through binding to myb binding sites located in the promoter regions of miR200 genes on human chromosomes 1 and 12. Furthermore, when c-Myb and the transcriptional repressor ZEB1 are co-expressed, as at the onset EMT, the repression by ZEB1 prevails over the activation by c-Myb, and the expression of miR200 is inhibited. We also demonstrate that during EMT induced by TGF-β, the promoters of miR200 genes are methylated, and their transcription is repressed regardless of the presence of repressors such as ZEB1 and activators such as c-Myb. Finally, we find a correlation between the expression of c-Myb and that of four out of 5 miR200 in a data set of 207 breast cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2309-2320
Number of pages12
JournalCell Cycle
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Jul 15 2013


  • Breast cancer
  • C-Myb
  • EMT
  • Metastasis
  • MiR200
  • ZEB1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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