Int J Biol Sci 2018; 14(11):1445-1456. doi:10.7150/ijbs.26335

Research Paper

MicroRNA485-3p negatively regulates the transcriptional co-repressor CtBP1 to control the oncogenic process in osteosarcoma cells

Kaili Du1, Xinliang Zhang2, Zhenkai Lou1, Peiyu Guo1, Fan Zhang1, Bing Wang1, Lingqiang Chen1, Chunqiang Zhang1,✉

1. Department of Orthopedics, the First Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical University, Kunming, Yunnan 650032, China.
2. Department of Spine Surgery, Honghui Hospital, Xi'an Jiaotong University Health Science Center, Xi'an, Shaanxi 710054, China.


Carboxyl-terminal binding protein 1 (CtBP1), a well-known transcriptional co-repressor, is highly expressed in a number of cancer types. However, it is still absent in osteosarcoma cells. Here, we found that CtBP1, but not CtBP2, is overexpressed in invasive osteosarcoma tissues and cells. The overexpressed CtBP1 in turn represses its downstream targets, such as the pro-apoptotic regulators Bax, Bim and p53 upregulated modulator of apoptosis (PUMA), cell adhesion molecule E-cadherin, and the cell cycle regulators p16, p21 and phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN). To explore the molecular mechanism of CtBP1 overexpression, we subjected three independent clinical samples to miRNA microarray analysis and found that miR-485-3p could specifically bind to the 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR) of CtBP1, thereby negatively controlling CtBP1 expression. The overexpression of miR-485-3p in osteosarcoma cells significantly repressed CtBP1 levels and inhibited cell proliferation, colony formation, cell migration and sphere formation. Further analysis indicated that DNA hypermethylation in the promoter region of miR-485-3p caused the downregulation of miR-485-3p. Treatment with the DNA methylation inhibitor 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (AZA) resulted in the upregulation of miR-485-3p and the downregulation of CtBP1 as well as inhibited osteosarcoma cell growth. This study provides evidence that CtBP1 is also overexpressed in osteosarcoma cells and demonstrates the underlying mechanism regarding its overexpression. Thus, therapeutically targeting CtBP1 may represent an effective strategy for osteosarcoma therapy.

Keywords: miR-485-3p, CtBP1, CtBP2, DNA methylation, osteosarcoma

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How to cite this article:
Du K, Zhang X, Lou Z, Guo P, Zhang F, Wang B, Chen L, Zhang C. MicroRNA485-3p negatively regulates the transcriptional co-repressor CtBP1 to control the oncogenic process in osteosarcoma cells. Int J Biol Sci 2018; 14(11):1445-1456. doi:10.7150/ijbs.26335. Available from