HMGA1-regulating microRNAs let-7a and miR-26a are downregulated in human seminomas

Marco De Martino, Francesco Esposito, Simona Pellecchia, Ricardo Cortez Cardoso Penha, Gerardo Botti, Alfredo Fusco, Paolo Chieffi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Recent studies have underlined HMGA protein’s key role in the onset of testicular germ cell tumors, where HMGA1 is differently expressed with respect to the state of differentiation, suggesting its fine regulation as master regulator in testicular tumorigenesis. Several studies have highlighted that the HMGA1 transcript is strictly regulated by a set of inhibitory microRNAs. Thus, the aim of this study is to test whether HMGA1 overexpression in human seminomas may be induced by the deregulation of miR-26a and Let-7a—two HMGA1-targeting microRNAs. Methods: HMGA1 mRNA and Let-7a and miR-26a levels were measured in a seminoma dataset available in the Cancer Genome Atlas database and confirmed in a subset of seminomas by qRT-PCR and western blot. A TCam-2 seminoma cell line was then transfected with Let-7a and miR-26a and tested for proliferation and motility abilities. Results: an inverse correlation was found between the expression of miR-26a and Let-7a and HMGA1 expression levels in seminomas samples, suggesting a critical role of these microRNAs in HMGA1 levels regulation. Accordingly, functional studies showed that miR-26a and Let-7a inhibited the proliferation, migration and invasion capabilities of the human seminoma derived cell line TCam-2. Conclusions: these data strongly support that the upregulation of HMGA1 levels occurring in seminoma is—at least in part—due to the downregulation of HMGA1-targeting microRNAs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3014
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2 2020


  • HMGA1
  • microRNAs
  • Seminomas
  • TGCTs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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