MiR-200c downregulates HIF-1α and inhibits migration of lung cancer cells

Yuree Byun, Young Chul Choi, Yunhui Jeong, Gangtae Lee, Sena Yoon, Yongsu Jeong, Jaeseung Yoon, Kwanghee Baek

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46 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) is a transcription factor with a pivotal role in physiological and pathological responses to hypoxia. While HIF-1α is known to be involved in hypoxia-induced upregulation of microRNA (miRNA) expression, HIF-1α is also targeted by miRNAs. In this study, miRNAs targeting HIF-1α were identified and their effects on its expression and downstream target genes under hypoxic conditions were investigated. Cell migration under the same conditions was also assessed. Methods: microRNAs that target HIF-1α were screened using 3′-untranslated region luciferase (3′-UTR-luciferase) reporter assays. The expression levels of HIF-1α and its downstream target genes after transfection with miRNA were assessed using quantitative RT-PCR and western blot analyses. The effect of the miRNAs on the transcriptional activity of HIF-1α was determined using hypoxia-responsive element luciferase (HRE-luciferase) assays. Cell migration under hypoxia was examined using the wound-healing assay. Results: Several of the 19 screened miRNAs considerably decreased the luciferase activity. Transfection with miR-200c had substantial impact on the expression level and transcription activity of HIF-1α. The mRNA level of HIF-1α downstream genes decreased in response to miR-200c overexpression. MiR-200c inhibited cell migration in normoxia and, to a greater extent, in hypoxia. These effects were partly reversed by HIF-1α expression under hypoxic conditions. Conclusion: miR-200c negatively affects hypoxia-induced responses by downregulating HIF-1α, a key regulator of hypoxia. Therefore, overexpression of miR-200c might have therapeutic potential as an anticancer agent that inhibits tumor hypoxia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number28
JournalCellular and Molecular Biology Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2019


  • HIF-1α
  • Hypoxia
  • miR-200c
  • microRNA


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