During the female lifetime, the expansion of the epithelium dictated by the ovarian cycles is supported by a transient increase in the mammary epithelial stem cell population (MaSCs). Notably, activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling is an important trigger for MaSC expansion. Here, we report that the miR-424/503 cluster is a modulator of canonical Wnt signaling in the mammary epithelium. We show that mammary tumors of miR-424(322)/503-depleted mice exhibit activated Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Importantly, we show a strong association between miR-424/503 deletion and breast cancers with high levels of Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Moreover, miR-424/503 cluster is required for Wnt-mediated MaSC expansion induced by the ovarian cycles. Lastly, we show that miR-424/503 exerts its function by targeting two binding sites at the 3'UTR of the LRP6 co-receptor and reducing its expression. These results unveil an unknown link between the miR-424/503, regulation of Wnt signaling, MaSC fate, and tumorigenesis.
- breast cancer