Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 134, Issue 3, pp 1081–1093 | Cite as

MicroRNA-30a inhibits cell migration and invasion by downregulating vimentin expression and is a potential prognostic marker in breast cancer

  • Chun-Wen Cheng
  • Hsiao-Wei Wang
  • Chia-Wei Chang
  • Hou-Wei Chu
  • Cheng-You Chen
  • Jyh-Cherng Yu
  • Jui-I Chao
  • Huei-Fang Liu
  • Shian-ling Ding
  • Chen-Yang Shen
Preclinical Study


Tumor recurrence and metastasis result in an unfavorable prognosis for cancer patients. Recent studies have suggested that specific microRNAs (miRNAs) may play important roles in the development of cancer cells. However, prognostic markers and the outcome prediction of the miRNA signature in breast cancer patients have not been comprehensively assessed. The aim of this study was to identify miRNA biomarkers relating to clinicopathological features and outcome of breast cancer. A miRNA microarray analysis was performed on breast tumors of different lymph node metastasis status and with different progression signatures, indicated by overexpression of cyclin D1 and β-catenin genes, to identify miRNAs showing a significant difference in expression. The functional interaction between the candidate miRNA, miR-30a, and the target gene, Vim, which codes for vimentin, a protein involved in epithelial–mesenchymal transition, was examined using the luciferase reporter assay, western blotting, and migration and invasion assays. The association between the decreased miR-30a levels and breast cancer progression was examined in a survival analysis. miR-30a negatively regulated vimentin expression by binding to the 3′-untranslated region of Vim. Overexpression of miR-30a suppressed the migration and invasiveness phenotypes of breast cancer cell lines. Moreover, reduced tumor expression of miR-30a in breast cancer patients was associated with an unfavorable outcome, including late tumor stage, lymph node metastasis, and worse progression (mortality and recurrence) (p < 0.05). In conclusion, these findings suggest a role for miR-30a in inhibiting breast tumor invasiveness and metastasis. The finding that miR-30a downmodulates vimentin expression might provide a therapeutic target for the treatment of breast cancer.


Breast cancer MicroRNA-microarray MiR-30a Vimentin Prognosis 



Invasive ductal carcinoma


Epithelial–mesenchymal transition




3′-untranslated region


Lymph node metastasis


Laser capture microdissection


Quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction


Disease-free survival


Overall survival


Hazard ratio


Odds ratio

95 % CI

95 % confidence interval



We sincerely appreciate Ms. Show-Lin Yang for her assistance in organizing our study specimens. This study was supported by research grant NSC 98-2314-B-040-009-MY3 from the National Science Council, Taipei, Taiwan.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chun-Wen Cheng
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Hsiao-Wei Wang
    • 3
  • Chia-Wei Chang
    • 1
  • Hou-Wei Chu
    • 3
  • Cheng-You Chen
    • 1
  • Jyh-Cherng Yu
    • 4
  • Jui-I Chao
    • 5
  • Huei-Fang Liu
    • 5
  • Shian-ling Ding
    • 6
  • Chen-Yang Shen
    • 3
    • 7
  1. 1.Institute of Biochemistry and BiotechnologyChung Shan Medical UniversityTaichungTaiwan
  2. 2.Clinical LaboratoryChung Shan Medical University HospitalTaichungTaiwan
  3. 3.Institute of Biomedical SciencesAcademia SinicaTaipeiTaiwan
  4. 4.Department of Surgery, Tri-Service General HospitalNational Defense Medical CenterTaipeiTaiwan
  5. 5.Department of Biological Science and TechnologyNational Chiao Tung UniversityHsinchuTaiwan
  6. 6.Department of NursingKang-Ning Junior College of Medical Care and ManagementTaipeiTaiwan
  7. 7.Graduate Institute of Environmental ScienceChina Medical UniversityTaichungTaiwan

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