A1 Journal article – refereed
Excess of miRNA-378a-5p perturbs mitotic fidelity and correlates with breast cancer tumourigenesis in vivo.

List of Authors: Winsel S, Mäki-Jouppila J, Tambe M, Aure MR, Pruikkonen S, Salmela AL, Halonen T, Leivonen SK, Kallio L, Børresen-Dale AL, Kallio MJ.
Publication year: 2014
Journal: British Journal of Cancer
Journal acronym: BJC
Volume number: 111
Issue number: 11



Optimal expression and proper function of key mitotic proteins facilitate control and repair processes that aim to prevent loss or gain of chromosomes, a hallmark of cancer. Altered expression of small regulatory microRNAs is associated with tumourigenesis and metastasis but the impact on mitotic signalling has remained unclear.


Cell-based high-throughput screen identified miR-378a-5p as a mitosis perturbing microRNA. Transient transfections, immunofluorescence, western blotting, time-lapse microscopy, FISH and reporter assays were used to characterise the mitotic anomalies by excess miR-378a-5p. Analysis of microRNA profiles in breast tumours was performed.


Overexpression of miR-378a-5p induced numerical chromosome changes in cells and abrogated taxol-induced mitotic block via premature inactivation of the spindle assembly checkpoint. Moreover, excess miR-378a-5p triggered receptor tyrosine kinase-MAP kinase pathway signalling, and was associated with suppression of Aurora B kinase. In breast cancer in vivo, we found that high miR-378a-5p levels correlate with the most aggressive, poorly differentiated forms of cancer.


Downregulation of Aurora B by excess miR-378a-5p can explain the observed microtubule drug resistance and increased chromosomal imbalance in the microRNA-overexpressing cells. The results suggest that breast tumours may deploy high miR-378a-5p levels to gain growth advantage and antagonise taxane therapy.

Last updated on 2019-29-01 at 23:04