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    Trastuzumab is a monoclonal antibody frequently used to prevent the progression of HER2+ breast cancers, which constitute approximately 20% of invasive breast cancers. microRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding RNA molecules that are known to be involved in gene regulation. With their emerging roles in cancer, they are recently promoted as potential candidates to mediate therapeutic actions by targeting genes associated with drug response. In this study we explored miRNA-mediated regulation of trastuzumab mechanisms by identifying the important miRNAs responsible for the drug response via homogenous network analysis. Our network model enabled us to simplify the complexity of miRNA interactions by connecting them through their common pathways. We outlined the functionally relevant miRNAs by constructing pathway-based miRNA-miRNA networks in SKBR3 and BT474 cells, respectively. Identification of the most targeted genes revealed that trastuzumab responsive miRNAs favourably regulate the repression of targets with longer 3'UTR than average considered to be key elements, while the miRNA-miRNA networks highlighted central miRNAs such as hsa-miR-3976 and hsa-miR-3671 that showed strong interactions with the remaining members of the network. Furthermore, the clusters of the miRNA-miRNA networks showed that trastuzumab response was mostly established through cancer related and metabolic pathways. hsa-miR-216b was found to be the part of the most powerful interactions of metabolic pathways, which was defined in the largest clusters in both cell lines. The network based representation of miRNA-miRNA interactions through their shared pathways provided a better understanding of miRNA-mediated drug response and could be suggested for further characterization of miRNA functions.


    Emine Ezel Cilek, Hakime Ozturk, Bala Gur Dedeoglu. Construction of miRNA-miRNA networks revealing the complexity of miRNA-mediated mechanisms in trastuzumab treated breast cancer cell lines. PloS one. 2017;12(10):e0185558

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    PMID: 28981542

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