MicroRNA-101 is repressed by EZH2 and its restoration inhibits tumorigenic features in embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma

Serena Vella, Silvia Pomella, Pier Paolo Leoncini, Marta Colletti, Beatrice Conti, Victor E. Marquez, Antonio Strillacci, Josep Roma, Soledad Gallego, Giuseppe M. Milano, Maurizio C. Capogrossi, Alice Bertaina, Roberta Ciarapica, Rossella Rota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is a pediatric soft tissue sarcoma arising from myogenic precursors that have lost their capability to differentiate into skeletal muscle. The polycomb-group protein EZH2 is a Lys27 histone H3 methyltransferase that regulates the balance between cell proliferation and differentiation by epigenetically silencing muscle-specific genes. EZH2 is often over-expressed in several human cancers acting as an oncogene. We previously reported that EZH2 inhibition induces cell cycle arrest followed by myogenic differentiation of RMS cells of the embryonal subtype (eRMS). MiR-101 is a microRNA involved in a negative feedback circuit with EZH2 in different normal and tumor tissues. To that, miR-101 can behave as a tumor suppressor in several cancers by repressing EZH2 expression. We, therefore, evaluated whether miR-101 is de-regulated in eRMS and investigated its interplaying with EZH2 as well as its role in the in vitro tumorigenic potential of these tumor cells. Results: Herein, we report that miR-101 is down-regulated in eRMS patients and in tumor cell lines compared to their controls showing an inverse pattern of expression with EZH2. We also show that miR-101 is up-regulated in eRMS cells following both genetic and pharmacological inhibition of EZH2. In turn, miR-101 forced expression reduces EZH2 levels as well as restrains the migratory potential of eRMS cells and impairs their clonogenic and anchorage-independent growth capabilities. Finally, EZH2 recruitment to regulatory region of miR-101-2 gene decreases in EZH2-silenced eRMS cells. This phenomenon is associated to reduced H3K27me3 levels at the same regulatory locus, indicating that EZH2 directly targets miR-101 for repression in eRMS cells. Conclusions: Altogether, our data show that, in human eRMS, miR-101 is involved in a negative feedback loop with EZH2, whose targeting has been previously shown to halt eRMS tumorigenicity. They also demonstrate that the re-induction of miR-101 hampers the tumor features of eRMS cells. In this scenario, epigenetic dysregulations confirm their crucial role in the pathogenesis of this soft tissue sarcoma.

Original languageEnglish
Article number82
JournalClinical Epigenetics
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 6 2015

Keywords

  • Anchorage-independent growth
  • Cell motility
  • Cell proliferation
  • Chromatin immunoprecipitation
  • EZH2
  • Histone methyltransferases
  • MiR-101
  • Polycomb proteins
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics(clinical)

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    Vella, S., Pomella, S., Leoncini, P. P., Colletti, M., Conti, B., Marquez, V. E., Strillacci, A., Roma, J., Gallego, S., Milano, G. M., Capogrossi, M. C., Bertaina, A., Ciarapica, R., & Rota, R. (2015). MicroRNA-101 is repressed by EZH2 and its restoration inhibits tumorigenic features in embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma. Clinical Epigenetics, 7(1), [82]. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13148-015-0107-z