Few therapies are currently available for patients with KRAS-driven cancers, highlighting the need to identify new molecular targets that modulate central downstream effector pathways. Here we found the miRNA cluster mir181ab1 as a key modulator of KRAS-driven oncogenesis. Ablation of Mir181ab1 in genetically-engineered mouse models of Kras-driven lung and pancreatic cancer was deleterious to tumor initiation and progression. Expression of both resident miRNAs in the Mir181ab1 cluster, miR181a1 and miR181b1, was necessary to rescue the Mir181ab1-loss phenotype underscoring their non-redundant role. In human cancer cells, depletion of miR181ab1 impaired proliferation and 3D growth, whereas overexpression provided a proliferative advantage. Lastly, we unveiled miR181ab1-regulated genes responsible for this phenotype. These studies identified what we believe to be a previously unknown role for miR181ab1 as a potential therapeutic target in two highly aggressive and difficult to treat KRAS-mutated cancers.
Karmele Valencia, Oihane Erice, Kaja Kostyrko, Simone Hausmann, Elizabeth Guruceaga, Anuradha Thathireddy, Natasha M. Flores, Leanne C. Sayles, Alex G. Lee, Rita Fragoso, Tian-Qiang Sun, Adrian Vallejo, Marta Roman, Rodrigo Entrialgo-Cadierno, Itziar Migueliz, Nerea Razquin, Puri Fortes, Fernando Lecanda, Jun Lu, Mariano Ponz-Sarvise, Chang-Zheng Chen, Pawel K. Mazur, E. Alejandro Sweet-Cordero, Silvestre Vicent