MicroRNA-155 targets the SKI gene in human melanoma cell lines.
ABSTRACT The SKI protein is a transcriptional coregulator over-expressed in melanoma. Experimentally induced down-regulation of SKI inhibits melanoma cell growth in vitro and in vivo. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) negatively modulate gene expression and have been implicated in oncogenesis. We previously showed that microRNA-155 (miR-155) is down-regulated in melanoma cells as compared with normal melanocytes and that its ectopic expression impairs proliferation and induces apoptosis. Here, we investigated whether miR-155 could mediate melanoma growth inhibition via SKI gene silencing. Luciferase reporter assays demonstrated that miR-155 interacted with SKI 3'UTR and impaired gene expression. Transfection of melanoma cells with miR-155 reduced SKI levels, while inhibition of endogenous miR-155 up-regulated SKI expression. Specifically designed small interfering RNAs reduced SKI expression and inhibited proliferation. However, melanoma cells over-expressing a 3'UTR-deleted SKI were still susceptible to the antiproliferative effect of miR-155. Our data demonstrate for the first time that SKI is a target of miR-155 in melanoma. However, impairment of SKI expression is not the leading mechanism involved in the growth-suppressive effect of miR-155 found in this malignancy.