miR-214 regulates lactoferrin expression and pro-apoptotic function in mammary epithelial cells

Yalin Liao, Xiaogu Du, Bo Lönnerdal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Lactoferrin (Lf) is an abundantly expressed protein in human milk. Lactoferrin exhibits several important biological functions, and its expression is regulated by multiple environmental factors. Cellular endogenous factors, however, have not been extensively studied with regard to lactoferrin gene expression. In this study, we showed that lactoferrin gene expression and function are directly targeted by miR-214 in HC11 and MCF7 cells. In the lactoferrin mRNA 39 untranslated region (UTR) of human, mouse, rat, pig, bovine, camel, and goat species, there is a conserved region that perfectly matches the seed region of miR-214. Transfection of miR-214 mimic in HEK293 cells dose-dependently inhibited the activity of pGL3-control vector containing lactoferrin mRNA 3′UTR downstream of the luciferase gene. In HC11 cells, miR-214 overexpression inhibited the induction of lactoferrin expression by β-estradiol (E2) and dexamethasone-prolactin-insulin (DPI). Furthermore, in MCF7 cells, overexpression of miR-214 markedly decreased lactoferrin expression (P < 0.05), and inhibition of endogenous miR-214 expression increased lactoferrin expression and cellular apoptotic activities (P < 0.05). In summary, our data showed that miR-214 is directly involved in lactoferrin expression and lactoferrin mediated cancer susceptibility (proapoptotic activities) in mammary epithelial cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1552-1556
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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