miR-342 Regulates BRCA1 expression through modulation of ID4 in breast cancer

Elisabetta Crippa, Lara Lusa, Loris De Cecco, Edoardo Marchesi, George Adrian Calin, Paolo Radice, Siranoush Manoukian, Bernard Peissel, Maria Grazia Daidone, Manuela Gariboldi, Marco Alessandro Pierotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A miRNAs profiling on a group of familial and sporadic breast cancers showed that miRNA-342 was significantly associated with estrogen receptor (ER) levels. To investigate at functional level the role of miR-342 in the pathogenesis of breast cancer, we focused our attention on its "in silico" predicted putative target gene ID4, a transcription factor of the helix-loop-helix protein family whose expression is inversely correlated with that of ER. ID4 is expressed in breast cancer and can negatively regulate BRCA1 expression. Our results showed an inverse correlation between ID4 and miR-342 as well as between ID4 and BRCA1 expression. We functionally validated the interaction between ID4 and miR-342 in a reporter Luciferase system. Based on these findings, we hypothesized that regulation of ID4 mediated by miR-342 could be involved in the pathogenesis of breast cancer by downregulating BRCA1 expression. We functionally demonstrated the interactions between miR-342, ID4 and BRCA1 in a model provided by ER-negative MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell line that presented high levels of ID4. Overexpression of miR-342 in these cells reduced ID4 and increased BRCA1 expression, supporting a possible role of this mechanism in breast cancer. In the ER-positive MCF7 and in the BRCA1-mutant HCC1937 cell lines miR-342 over-expression only reduced ID4. In the cohort of patients we studied, a correlation between miR-342 and BRCA1 expression was found in the ER-negative cases. As ER-negative cases were mainly BRCA1-mutant, we speculate that the mechanism we demonstrated could be involved in the decreased expression of BRCA1 frequently observed in non BRCA1-mutant breast cancers and could be implicated as a causal factor in part of the familial cases grouped in the heterogeneous class of non BRCA1 or BRCA2-mutant cases (BRCAx). To validate this hypothesis, the study should be extended to a larger cohort of ER-negative cases, including those belonging to the BRCAx class.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere87039
JournalPLoS One
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 27 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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