MicroRNA-145 Is Downregulated in Glial Tumors and Regulates Glioma Cell Migration by Targeting Connective Tissue Growth Factor

Hae Kyung Lee, Ariel Bier, Simona Cazacu, Susan Finniss, Cunli Xiang, Hodaya Twito, Laila M. Poisson, Tom Mikkelsen, Shimon Slavin, Elad Jacoby, Michal Yalon, Amos Toren, Sandra A. Rempel, Chaya Brodie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Glioblastomas (GBM), the most common and aggressive type of malignant glioma, are characterized by increased invasion into the surrounding brain tissues. Despite intensive therapeutic strategies, the median survival of GBM patients has remained dismal over the last decades. In this study we examined the expression of miR-145 in glial tumors and its function in glioma cells. Using TCGA analysis and real-time PCR we found that the expression of miR-145/143 cluster was downregulated in astrocytic tumors compared to normal brain specimens and in glioma cells and glioma stem cells (GSCs) compared to normal astrocytes and neural stem cells. Moreover, the low expression of both miR-145 and miR-143 in GBM was correlated with poor patient prognosis. Transfection of glioma cells with miR-145 mimic or transduction with a lentivirus vector expressing pre-miR 145 significantly decreased the migration and invasion of glioma cells. We identified connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) as a novel target of miR-145 in glioma cells; transfection of the cells with this miRNA decreased the expression of CTGF as determined by Western blot analysis and the expression of its 3′-UTR fused to luciferase. Overexpression of a CTGF plasmid lacking the 3′-UTR and administration of recombinant CTGF protein abrogated the inhibitory effect of miR-145 on glioma cell migration. Similarly, we found that silencing of CTGF decreased the migration of glioma cells. CTGF silencing also decreased the expression of SPARC, phospho-FAK and FAK and overexpression of SPARC abrogated the inhibitory effect of CTGF silencing on cell migration. These results demonstrate that miR-145 is downregulated in glial tumors and its low expression in GBM predicts poor patient prognosis. In addition miR-145 regulates glioma cell migration by targeting CTGF which downregulates SPARC expression. Therefore, miR-145 is an attractive therapeutic target for anti-invasive treatment of astrocytic tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere54652
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number2
StatePublished - 4 Feb 2013


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