Angiosarcoma is a vascular sarcoma that is highly aggressive and metastatic. Because of its rarity, treatment options for patients are limited. Therefore, more research is needed to identify possible therapeutic vulnerabilities. We previously found that conditional deletion of Dicer1 drives angiosarcoma development in mice. Given the role of DICER1 in canonical miRNA biogenesis, this suggests that miRNA loss is important in angiosarcoma development. After testing miRNAs previously suggested to have a tumor-suppressive role in angiosarcoma, miRNA-497-5p (miR-497) suppressed cell viability most significantly. We also found that miR-497 overexpression led to significantly reduced cell migration and tumor formation. To understand the mechanism of miR-497 in tumor suppression, we identified clinically relevant target genes using a combination of RNA-sequencing data in an angiosarcoma cell line, expression data from patients with angiosarcoma, and target prediction algorithms. We validated miR-497 direct regulation of cyclin-D2, cyclin-dependent kinase 6, and vesicle amine transport protein 1 (VAT1). One of these genes, VAT1, is an understudied protein that has been suggested to promote cell migration and metastasis in other cancers. Indeed, we find that pharmacologic inhibition of VAT1 with the natural product neocarzilin A reduces angiosarcoma migration.

Implications: This work supports the potent tumor-suppressive abilities of miR-497 in angiosarcoma, providing evidence for its potential as a therapeutic agent, and provides insight into the mechanisms of tumor suppression through analysis of the target gene regulatory network of miR-497.

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