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Therapeutic silencing of miR-10b inhibits metastasis in a mouse mammary tumor model


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are increasingly implicated in the regulation of metastasis. Despite their potential as targets for anti-metastatic therapy, miRNAs have only been silenced in normal tissues of rodents and nonhuman primates. Therefore, the development of effective approaches for sequence-specific inhibition of miRNAs in tumors remains a scientific and clinical challenge. Here we show that systemic treatment of tumor-bearing mice with miR-10b antagomirs—a class of chemically modified anti-miRNA oligonucleotide—suppresses breast cancer metastasis. Both in vitro and in vivo, silencing of miR-10b with antagomirs significantly decreases miR-10b levels and increases the levels of a functionally important miR-10b target, Hoxd10. Administration of miR-10b antagomirs to mice bearing highly metastatic cells does not reduce primary mammary tumor growth but markedly suppresses formation of lung metastases in a sequence-specific manner. The miR-10b antagomir, which is well tolerated by normal animals, appears to be a promising candidate for the development of new anti-metastasis agents.

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Figure 1: Antagomir-10b can be directly delivered to tumor cells in vitro and can inhibit cell motility and invasiveness.
Figure 2: The metastasis-suppressing effect of antagomir-10b is sequence-specific.
Figure 3: 'Sponge'-mediated silencing of miR-10b in tumor cells is sufficient to inhibit metastasis.
Figure 4: Antagomir-10b treatment does not affect late stages of the metastatic process.
Figure 5: Toxicity assessment following intravenous delivery of antagomir-10b in normal mice.


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We thank C.L. Daige at Regulus for technical assistance, M. Ebert, P. Sharp and S. Valastyan for advice on miRNA sponge design, the Histology Core Labs at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for assistance with histology, B. Bierie and other members of the Weinberg Lab for useful discussions. L.M. is a recipient of a Life Sciences Research Foundation Fellowship, a Margaret and Herman Sokol Award and a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00). R.A.W. is an American Cancer Society Research Professor and a D.K. Ludwig Cancer Research Professor. This research is supported by an NIH grant to R.A.W. and the Ludwig Center for Molecular Oncology at MIT.

Author information




R.A.W. supervised research. L.M., J.S. and E.G.M. designed experiments. J.S., B.B. and E.G.M. provided antagomirs and conditions. L.M., F.R. and E.P. performed most of the experiments. E.G.M. led toxicity assessment at Regulus. J.T.-F. performed pathological analysis. G.W.B. contributed to graphics and statistical analysis. L.M. and R.A.W. wrote the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Robert A Weinberg.

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Competing interests

J.S., B.B. and E.M. are employees of Regulus Therapeutics.

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Ma, L., Reinhardt, F., Pan, E. et al. Therapeutic silencing of miR-10b inhibits metastasis in a mouse mammary tumor model. Nat Biotechnol 28, 341–347 (2010).

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