The contribution of microRNAs to lymphoma biology is not fully understood. In particular, it remains untested whether microRNA dysregulation could contribute to the emergence of the aggressive subset of B-cell lymphomas that coexpress MYC and BCL2. Here, we identify microRNA-124 (miR-124) as a negative regulator of MYC and BCL2 expression in B-cell lymphomas. Concordantly, stable or transient ectopic expression of miR-124 suppressed cell proliferation and survival, whereas genetic inhibition of this miRNA enhanced the fitness of these tumors. Mechanistically, the activities of miR-124 towards MYC and BCL2 intersect with both oncogenic and tumor-suppressive pathways. In respect to the former, we show that miR-124 directly targets nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) p65, and using genetic approaches, we demonstrate that this interaction accounts for the miR-124-mediated suppression of MYC and BCL2. We also characterized miR-124 promoter region and identified a functional p53 binding site. In agreement with this finding, endogenous or ectopic expression of wild-type, but not mutant, p53 increased miR-124 levels and suppressed p65, MYC and BCL2. Our data unveil an miRNA-dependent regulatory circuitry that links p53 to the NF-κB pathway, which when disrupted in B-cell lymphoma may be associated with aberrant coexpression of MYC and BCL2 and poor prognosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research