Deregulated microRNA (miR)/transcription factor (TF)-based networks represent a hallmark of cancer. We report here a novel c-Myc/miR-23b/Sp1 feed-forward loop with a critical role in multiple myeloma (MM) and Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia (WM) cell growth and survival. We have found miR-23b to be downregulated in MM and WM cells especially in the presence of components of the tumor bone marrow milieu. Promoter methylation is one mechanism of miR-23b suppression in myeloma. In gain-of-function studies using miR-23b mimics-transfected or in miR-23b-stably expressing MM and WM cell lines, we observed a significant decrease in cell proliferation and survival, along with induction of caspase-3/7 activity over time, thus supporting a tumor suppressor role for miR-23b. At the molecular level, miR-23b targeted Sp1 3'UTR and significantly reduced Sp1-driven nuclear factor-κB activity. Finally, c-Myc, an important oncogenic transcription factor known to stimulate MM cell proliferation, transcriptionally repressed miR-23b. Thus MYC-dependent miR-23b repression in myeloma cells may promote activation of oncogenic Sp1-mediated signaling, representing the first feed-forward loop with critical growth and survival role in myeloma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas