The precursor of the human microRNA hsa-miR-6855-3p is a 5-tailed mitronic pre-miRNA that is coded by intron #13 of the deubiquitinase USP20 gene. Our preliminary data suggest that the biosynthesis of this miRNA is upregulated by oxidative stress in the SLUG-high metastatic breast cancer cells, promoting DNA double-strand break repair (DSBR) through the indirect enhancement of BRCA2 gene expression. We found that miR-6855-3p favors BRCA2 biosynthesis through the enhancement of the level of an alternately translated form of the BRCA2 gene enhancer protein SPRDX5. We hypothesize that BRCA2 gene silencer acts as a scaffolding to co-recruit SLUG and SPRDX5 and promote SPRDX5-mediated oxidative inactivation of the BRCA2 negative regulator protein SLUG. Here, we present evidence that (a) the expression of miR-6855-3p is essential for the expression of BRCA2 in the SLUG-high metastatic breast cancer cells; (b) knockdown of miR-6855-3p affects DSBR in these cells; and (c) the miR-6855-3p knocked-down cells are susceptible to the synthetic lethality by the PARP inhibitors. Our study reveals a novel mechanism of regulation of BRCA2 gene expression in the aggressive breast cancer cells, offering an alternative strategy to chemically intervene in the progression of hard-to-cure, highly aggressive SLUG-high breast cancer. We propose that the inhibition of miR-6855-3p will induce BRCA2 deficiency in the BLBC cells, thus increasing their susceptibility to standard chemotherapy as well as to PARP inhibitors as has been described for other BRCA2-deficient cells. Supported in part by DOD-CDMRP IDEA Expansion Grant #BC103645 and NIH/NCI grant 1R21CA181920-01 to GC and 1U54RR026140 to SM.

Note: This abstract was not presented at the conference.

Citation Format: Marshall JD Ellison, Smita Misra, Gautam Chaudhuri. Characterization of the mitronic tsmiR miR6855-3p as a DNA damage repair regulator in the SLUG-high metastatic breast cancer cells [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the AACR Special Conference: Advances in Breast Cancer Research; 2017 Oct 7-10; Hollywood, CA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Mol Cancer Res 2018;16(8_Suppl):Abstract nr A12.