Department of Clinical Laboratory, Jiangsu Cancer Hospital & Jiangsu Institute of Cancer Research &The Affiliated Cancer Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, 210009, China. Electronic address: [Email]
tRNA-derived fragments offer a recently identified group of non-coding single-stranded RNAs that are often as abundant as microRNAs in cancer cells and play important roles in carcinogenesis. However, the biological functions of them in breast cancer are still unclear. Hence, we focused on investigating whether tiRNAs could play a key role in the progression of breast cancer. We have identified 5'-tiRNAVal with significantly low expression in breast cancer tissues. The down-regulation of serum 5'-tiRNAVal was positively correlated with stage progression and lymph node metastasis. Overexpression of 5'-tiRNAVal suppressed cells malignant activities. FZD3 was confirmed to be a direct target of 5'-tiRNAVal in breast cancer. In addition, FZD3, β-Catenin, c-myc and cyclinD1 levels in 5'-tiRNAVal overexpressing cells were downregulated while APC was inversely upregulated. Moreover, 5'-tiRNAVal inhibited the FZD3-mediated Wnt/β-Catenin signaling pathway in breast cancer cells. Finally, 5'-tiRNAVal levels differentiated breast cancer from healthy controls with a sensitivity of 90.0% and specificity of 62.7%. This is the first study to show that 5'-tiRNAVal as a new tumor-suppressor through inhibition of FZD3/Wnt/β-Catenin signaling pathway, which could be as a potential diagnostic biomarker for breast cancer.