miR-155 is positively regulated by CBX7 in mouse embryonic fibroblasts and colon carcinomas, and targets the KRAS oncogene

Floriana Forzati, Marco Di Martino, Francesco Esposito, Romina Sepe, Simona Pellecchia, Umberto Malapelle, Gianluca Pellino, Claudio Arra, Alfredo Fusco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Loss of CBX7 expression has been described in several malignant neoplasias, including human colon and thyroid carcinomas proposing CBX7 as a tumor suppressor gene with a key role in cancer progression. This role is supported from the development of benign and malignant neoplasias in Cbx7 null mice. The aim of our work has been to investigate the mechanisms underlying the CBX7 oncosuppressor activity by analyzing the microRNAs (miRNAs) regulated by CBX7. Methods: The miRNA expression profiles of the mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) null for Cbx7 and the wild-type counterpart were analyzed by the miRNACHIP microarray and then validated by qRT-PCR. To asses KRAS as target of miR-155 we evaluated the protein levels after transfection of the synthetic miR-155. Human colon carcinoma samples have been investigated for the expression of CBX7 and miR-155. Results: Twenty miRNAs were found upregulated and nine, including miR-155, downregulated in cbx7-null MEFS in comparison with the wild-type ones. Then, we focused on miR-155 since several studies have shown its deregulated expression in several human malignancies and, moreover, was the most downregulated miRNA. Subsequently, we searched for miR-155 target genes demonstrating that KRAS protein levels are directly modulated by miR-155. A direct significant correlation (r = 0.6779) between CBX7 and miR-155 expression levels was found in a set of human colon carcinoma tissue samples. Conclusion: miR-155 is positively regulated by CBX7 in MEFs and colon carcinomas, and has KRAS as one of the target genes likely accounting for the anti-apoptotic activity ascribed to miR-155 in some tissue contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number170
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 4 2017


  • CBX7
  • Colon carcinoma
  • KRAS
  • MiR-155

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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