Tumor suppressor miR-193a-3p enhances efficacy of BRAF/MEK inhibitors in BRAF-mutated colorectal cancer

Sakura Hiraide, Masanobu Takahashi, Yuya Yoshida, Hideharu Yamada, Keigo Komine, Chikashi Ishioka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Patients with BRAF-mutated colorectal cancer (CRC) have a poor prognosis despite recent therapeutic advances such as combination therapy with BRAF, MEK, and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors. To identify microRNAs (miRNAs) that can improve the efficacy of BRAF inhibitor dabrafenib (DAB) and MEK inhibitor trametinib (TRA), we screened 240 miRNAs in BRAF-mutated CRC cells and identified five candidate miRNAs. Overexpression of miR-193a-3p, one of the five screened miRNAs, in CRC cells inhibited cell proliferation by inducing apoptosis. Reverse-phase protein array analysis revealed that proteins with altered phosphorylation induced by miR-193a-3p were involved in several oncogenic pathways including MAPK-related pathways. Furthermore, overexpression of miR-193a-3p in BRAF-mutated cells enhanced the efficacy of DAB and TRA through inhibiting reactivation of MAPK signaling and inducing inhibition of Mcl1. Inhibition of Mcl1 by siRNA or by Mcl1 inhibitor increased the antiproliferative effect of combination therapy with DAB, TRA, and anti-EGFR antibody cetuximab. Collectively, our study demonstrated the possibility that miR-193a-3p acts as a tumor suppressor through regulating multiple proteins involved in oncogenesis and affects cellular sensitivity to MAPK-related pathway inhibitors such as BRAF inhibitors, MEK inhibitors, and/or anti-EGFR antibodies. Addition of miR-193a-3p and/or modulation of proteins involved in the miR-193a-3p–mediated pathway, such as Mcl1, to EGFR/BRAF/MEK inhibition may be a potential therapeutic strategy against BRAF-mutated CRC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3856-3870
Number of pages15
JournalCancer Science
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Sept


  • BRAF
  • MAPK signaling
  • Mcl1
  • colorectal cancer
  • miR-193a-3p


Dive into the research topics of 'Tumor suppressor miR-193a-3p enhances efficacy of BRAF/MEK inhibitors in BRAF-mutated colorectal cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this