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Apr 08, 2010
 |  BC Innovations  |  Targets & Mechanisms

miRNA inhibition of metastasis

A U.S. team that included researchers from Regulus Therapeutics Inc. has reported the first successful inhibition of a microRNA-^miR-10b-in tumor cells, a feat that previously had only been accomplished in normal tissue.1 The biotech's anti-miRNA oligonucleotide prevented breast cancer metastasis in mice, showing the antimetastatic potential of targeting miR-10b.

Studies carried out over the past five years have shown that miR-10b is upregulated in invasive and metastatic cancers such as pancreatic adenocarcinoma, glioblastoma and metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In 2007, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center found that miR-10b was also highly expressed in metastatic breast tumors, in which it inhibited expression of the tumor suppressor gene homeobox D10 (HOXD10).2 To investigate whether miR-10b could be an antimetastasis target, the researchers teamed up with Regulus to synthesize and test an miR-10b antagonist.

In the study, now published in Nature Biotechnology, the team showed that in mouse models of breast cancer, Regulus' anti-miR-10b antagomir produced an 86% reduction in the occurrence of lung metastases compared with an inactive control antagomir.

The antagomir did not affect the growth of either primary breast tumors or lung metastases that did occur.

The group...

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