ABSTRACT: Carboxyl-terminal binding protein 1 (CtBP1) is a transcriptional co-repressor that represses expression of various tumor suppressor genes. In the present study, we identified miR-137 as a potential regulator of CtBP1 expression in melanoma cells. Expression of miR-137 in melanoma cell lines was found to inversely correlate with CtBP1 levels. Target Scan predicted a putative site for miR-137 within the CtBP1 3' untranslated region (3'UTR) at nt 710-716, which is highly conserved across species. To explore the mechanism of miR-137 targeting CtBP1, we performed an Argonaute 2 (Ago2)-pull down assay, and miR-137 was identified in complex with CtBP1 mRNA. miR-137 suppressed CtBP1 3' UTR luciferase-reporter activity, and this effect was lost with deletion of the putative 3' UTR target-site. Consistent with the results of the reporter assay, ectopic expression of miR-137 reduced expression levels of CtBP1. Furthermore, expression of miR-137 increased the immediate downstream effectors of CtBP1, such as E-cadherin and Bax. The human miR-137 gene is located at chromosome 1p22, which has previously been determined to be a susceptive region for melanoma. This study suggests miR-137 may act as a tumor suppressor by directly targeting CtBP1 to inhibit epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and inducing apoptosis of melanoma cells, thus illustrating a functional link between miR-137 and CtBP1 in melanoma development.
International journal of biological sciences 01/2011; 7(1):133-7. · 2.70 Impact Factor