Molecular Cancer Research: ELF4 is a target of miR-124 and promotes neuroblastoma proliferation and undifferentiated state

Adam Kosti, Liqin Du, Haridha Shivram, Mei Qiao, Suzanne Burns, Juan Gabriel Garcia, Alexander Pertsemlidis, Vishwanath R Iyer, Erzsebet Kokovay, Luiz OF Penalva

13-Cis-retinoic acid (RA) is typically used in postremission maintenance therapy in patients with neuroblastoma. However, side effects and recurrence are often observed. We investigated the use of miRNAs as a strategy to replace RA as promoters of differentiation. miR-124 was identified as the top candidate in a functional screen. Genomic target analysis indicated that repression of a network of transcription factors (TF) could be mediating most of the miR-1249s effect in driving differentiation. To advance miR-124 mimic use in therapy and better define its mechanism of action, a high-throughput siRNA morphologic screen focusing on its TF targets was conducted and ELF4 was identified as a leading candidate for miR-124 repression. By altering its expression levels, we showed that ELF4 maintains neuroblastoma in an undifferentiated state and promotes proliferation. Moreover, ELF4 transgenic expression was able …

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