Nectin-like molecule 2 (Necl-2)/cell adhesion molecule 1 (CADM1) is shown to be down-regulated by the promoter hypermethylation and/or loss of heterozygosity at chromosome 11q23.2 in many types of cancers, including lung and breast cancers, and is proposed to serve as a tumor suppressor. However, the incidence of these epigenetic and genetic abnormalities of Necl-2 is 30-60% in these cancers, and other mechanisms for the suppression of Necl-2 are presumed to be present. We previously showed that Necl-2 interacts in cis with ErbB3 and suppresses the heregulin (HRG)-induced ErbB2/ErbB3 signaling for cell movement and death. We studied here the relationship between Necl-2 and microRNA-199a (miR-199a) that is up-regulated or down-regulated in a variety of cancers. miR-199a did not directly target the Necl-2 mRNA or affect its mRNA level in human lung cancer A549 cells and human embryonic kidney HEK293 cells. Necl-2 was at least sialylated by the sialyltransferase ST6 β-Galactosamide α-2,6-sialyltransferase 1 (ST6GAL1). miR-199a targeted ST6GAL1 and reduced both the sialylation and the protein level of Necl-2. In addition, miR-199a enhanced the HRG-induced ErbB2/ErbB3 signaling. These results indicate that the suppressive role of Necl-2 in the HRG-induced ErbB2/ErbB3 signaling is regulated by miR-199a at least through the reduction of the ST6GAL1-catalyzed sialylation of Necl-2 and/or through the reduction of the protein level of Necl-2 presumably by the protein degradation.
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