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Open AccessArticle

MiR-21 Is Required for the Epithelial–Mesenchymal Transition in MDA-MB-231 Breast Cancer Cells

Institute of Biotechnology, Gebze Technical University, Gebze, 41400 Kocaeli, Turkey
Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Atakoy Campus, Istanbul Kultur University, 34156 Istanbul, Turkey
Centre for Biomedical Education/Cell Biology and Genetics Research Centre, St. George’s, University of London, Cranmer Terrace, London SW17 0RE, UK
Cancer Research Group, School of Life Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Westminster, 115 New Cavendish Street, London W1W 6UW, UK
Tissue Architecture and Regeneration Research Group, School of Life Sciences, University of Westminster, London W1W 6UW, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Imad Kansau
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(4), 1557;
Received: 14 December 2020 / Revised: 27 January 2021 / Accepted: 1 February 2021 / Published: 4 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MicroRNA Signaling in Human Diseases)
Breast cancer (BCa) is one of the leading health problems among women. Although significant achievements have led to advanced therapeutic success with targeted therapy options, more efforts are required for different subtypes of tumors and according to genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic alterations. This study underlines the role of microRNA-21 (miR-21) in metastatic MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Following the knockout of miR-21 from MDA-MB-231 cells, which have the highest miR-21 expression levels compared to MCF-7 and SK-BR-3 BCa cells, a decrease in epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) via downregulation of mesenchymal markers was observed. Wnt-11 was a critical target for miR-21, and the Wnt-11 related signaling axis was altered in the stable miR-21 knockout cells. miR-21 expression was associated with a significant increase in mesenchymal markers in MDA-MB-231 BCa cells. Furthermore, the release of extracellular vesicles (EVs) was significantly reduced in the miR-21 KO cells, alongside a significant reduction in relative miR-21 export in EV cargo, compared with control cells. We conclude that miR-21 is a leading factor involved in mesenchymal transition in MDA-MB-231 BCa. Future therapeutic strategies could focus on its role in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer. View Full-Text
Keywords: breast cancer; miR-21; Wnt-11; EMT breast cancer; miR-21; Wnt-11; EMT
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MDPI and ACS Style

Arisan, E.D.; Rencuzogullari, O.; Cieza-Borrella, C.; Miralles Arenas, F.; Dwek, M.; Lange, S.; Uysal-Onganer, P. MiR-21 Is Required for the Epithelial–Mesenchymal Transition in MDA-MB-231 Breast Cancer Cells. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22, 1557.

AMA Style

Arisan ED, Rencuzogullari O, Cieza-Borrella C, Miralles Arenas F, Dwek M, Lange S, Uysal-Onganer P. MiR-21 Is Required for the Epithelial–Mesenchymal Transition in MDA-MB-231 Breast Cancer Cells. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2021; 22(4):1557.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Arisan, Elif D.; Rencuzogullari, Ozge; Cieza-Borrella, Clara; Miralles Arenas, Francesc; Dwek, Miriam; Lange, Sigrun; Uysal-Onganer, Pinar. 2021. "MiR-21 Is Required for the Epithelial–Mesenchymal Transition in MDA-MB-231 Breast Cancer Cells" Int. J. Mol. Sci. 22, no. 4: 1557.

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