Downregulation of miR-101 in gastric cancer correlates with cyclooxygenase-2 overexpression and tumor growth

Xiao-Pu He, Yun Shao, Xiao-Lin Li, Wei Xu, Guo-Sheng Chen, Huan-Huan Sun, Hai-Chen Xu, Xian Xu, Dan Tang, Xi-Feng Zheng, Yi-Ping Xue, Guo-Chang Huang, Wei-Hao Sun
FEBS Journal 2012, 279 (22): 4201-12
Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) plays an important role in the carcinogenesis and progression of gastric cancer. It has been demonstrated that COX-2 overexpression depends on different cellular pathways, involving both transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, noncoding RNAs that function as post-transcriptional regulators. Here, we characterize miR-101 expression and its role in the regulation of COX-2 expression, which in turn, will provide us with additional insights into the potential therapeutic benefits of exogenous miR-101 for treatment of gastric cancer. Our results showed that miR-101 levels in gastric cancer tissues were significantly lower than those in the matched normal tissue (P < 0.01). Furthermore, lower levels of miR-101 were associated with increased tumor invasion and lymph node metastasis (P < 0.05). We also found an inverse correlation between miR-101 and COX-2 expression in both gastric cancer specimens and cell lines. Significant decreases in COX-2 mRNA and COX-2 levels were observed in the pre-miR-101-infected gastric cancer cells. One possible mechanism of interaction is that miR-101 inhibited COX-2 expression by directly binding to the 3'-UTR of COX-2 mRNA. Overexpression of miR-101 in gastric cancer cell lines also inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in vitro, as well as inhibiting tumor growth in vivo. These results collectively indicate that miR-101 may function as a tumor suppressor in gastric cancer, with COX-2 as a direct target.

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