MicroRNA 630 represses NANOG expression through transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation in human embryonal carcinoma cells

Wing Keung Chu, Li Man Hung, Chun Wei Hou, Jan Kan Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

5 Scopus citations


The pluripotent transcription factor NANOG is essential for maintaining embryonic stem cells and driving tumorigenesis. We previously showed that PKC activity is involved in the regulation of NANOG expression. To explore the possible involvement of microRNAs in regulating the expression of key pluripotency factors, we performed a genome-wide analysis of microRNA expression in the embryonal carcinoma cell line NT2/D1 in the presence of the PKC activator, PMA. We found that MIR630 was significantly upregulated in PMA-treated cells. Experimentally, we showed that transfection of MIR630 mimic into embryonal carcinoma cell lines directly targeted the 3′UTR of OCT4, SOX2, and NANOG and markedly suppressed their expression. RNAhybrid and RNA22 algorithms were used to predict miRNA target sites in the NANOG 3’UTR, four possible target sites of MIR630 were identified. To examine the functional interaction between MIR630 and NANOG mRNA, the predicted MIR630 target sites in the NANOG 3’UTR were deleted and the activity of the reporters were compared. After targeted mutation of the predicted MIR630 target sites, the MIR630 mimic inhibited NANOG significantly less than the wild-type reporters. It is worth noting that mutation of a single putative binding site in the 3’UTR of NANOG did not completely abolish MIR630-mediated suppression, suggesting that MIR630 in the NANOG 3’UTR may have multiple binding sites and act together to maximally repress NANOG expression. Interestingly, MIR630 mimics significantly downregulated NANOG gene transcription. Exogenous expression of OCT4, SOX2, and NANOG lacking the 3’UTR almost completely rescued the reduced transcriptional activity of MIR630. MIR630 mediated the expression of differentiation markers in NT2/D1 cells, suggesting that MIR630 leads to the differentiation of NT2/D1 cell. Our findings show that MIR630 represses NANOG through transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation, suggesting a direct link between core pluripotency factors and MIR630.

Original languageEnglish
Article number46
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 01 01 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • 3′UTR
  • Embryonal carcinoma cells
  • MicroRNA


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