miR-494-3p is a novel tumor driver of lung carcinogenesis

Alice Faversani, Stefano Amatori, Claudia Augello, Federico Colombo, Laura Porretti, Mirco Fanelli, Stefano Ferrero, Alessandro Palleschi, Pier Giuseppe Pelicci, Elena Belloni, Giulia Ercoli, Anna Degrassi, Marco Baccarin, Dario C. Altieri, Valentina Vaira, Silvano Bosari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lung cancer is the leading cause of tumor-related death worldwide and more efforts are needed to elucidate lung carcinogenesis. Here we investigated the expression of 641 miRNAs in lung tumorigenesis in a K-Ras(+/LSLG12Vgeo);RERTn(ert/ert) mouse model and 113 human tumors. The conserved miRNA cluster on chromosome 12qF1 was significantly and progressively upregulated during murine lung carcinogenesis. In particular, miR-494-3p expression was correlated with lung cancer progression in mice and with worse survival in lung cancer patients. Mechanistically, ectopic expression of miR-494-3p in A549 lung cancer cells boosted the tumor-initiating population, enhanced cancer cell motility, and increased the expression of stem cellrelated genes. Importantly, miR-494-3p improved the ability of A549 cells to grow and metastasize in vivo, modulating NOTCH1 and PTEN/PI3K/AKT signaling. Overall, these data identify miR-494-3p as a key factor in lung cancer onset and progression and possible therapeutic target.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7231-7247
Number of pages17
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • miR-494-3p
  • MiRNA
  • NOTCH1
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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