A tRNA fragment, tRF5-Glu, regulates BCAR3 expression and proliferation in ovarian cancer cells

Kun Zhou, Kevin W Diebel, Jon M Holy, Andrew J Skildum, Evan Odean, Douglas A. Hicks, Brent Schotl, Juan E Abrahante - Llorens, Monique A. Spillman, Lynne T Bemis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Ovarian cancer is a complex disease marked by tumor heterogeneity, which contributes to difficulties in diagnosis and treatment. New molecular targets and better molecular profiles defining subsets of patients are needed. tRNA fragments (tRFs) offer a recently identified group of noncoding RNAs that are often as abundant as microRNAs in cancer cells. Initially their presence in deep sequencing data sets was attributed to the breakdown of mature tRNAs, however, it is now clear that they are actively generated and function in multiple regulatory events. One such tRF, a 5' fragment of tRNA-Glu-CTC (tRF5-Glu), is processed from the mature tRNA-Glu and is shown in this study to be expressed in ovarian cancer cells. We confirmed that tRF5- Glu binds directly to a site in the 3'UTR of the Breast Cancer Anti-Estrogen Resistance 3 (BCAR3) mRNA thereby down regulating its expression. BCAR3 has not previously been studied in ovarian cancer cells and our studies demonstrate that inhibiting BCAR3 expression suppresses ovarian cancer cell proliferation. Furthermore, mimics of tRF5-Glu were found to inhibit proliferation of ovarian cancer cells. In summary, BCAR3 and tRF5-Glu contribute to the complex tumor heterogeneity of ovarian cancer cells and may provide new targets for therapeutic intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95377-95391
Number of pages15
Issue number56
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Zhou et al.


  • BCAR3
  • Noncoding RNA
  • Ovarian cancer
  • TRF5-Glu
  • TRNA fragments

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A tRNA fragment, tRF5-Glu, regulates BCAR3 expression and proliferation in ovarian cancer cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this