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Clin Cancer Res. 2008 May 1;14(9):2588-92. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-07-0666.

Mature miR-184 as Potential Oncogenic microRNA of Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Tongue.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR China.



The aim of this study was to evaluate the microRNA expression patterns in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the tongue.


Expression levels of 156 human mature microRNAs were examined using real-time quantitative PCR (Taq Man MicroRNA Assays; Human Panel) on laser microdissected cells of 4 tongue carcinomas and paired normal tissues. Expression of mature miR-184 was further validated in 20 paired tongue SCC and the normal tissues. Potential oncogenic functions of miR-184 were evaluated in tongue SCC cell lines (Cal27, HN21B, and HN96) with miR-184 inhibitor. Plasma miR-184 levels were evaluated using real-time quantitative PCR.


Using 3-fold expression difference as a cutoff level, we identified 24 up-regulated mature miRNAs including miR-184, miR-34c, miR-137, miR-372, miR-124a, miR-21, miR-124b, miR-31, miR-128a, miR-34b, miR-154, miR-197, miR-132, miR-147, miR-325, miR-181c, miR-198, miR-155, miR-30a-3p, miR-338, miR-17-5p, miR-104, miR-134, and miR-213; and 13 down-regulated mature miRNAs including miR-133a, miR-99a, miR-194, miR-133b, miR-219, miR-100, miR-125b, miR-26b, miR-138, miR-149, miR-195, miR-107, and miR-139. Overexpression of miR-184 was further validated in 20 paired tongue SCC and normal tissues (P = 0.002). Inhibition of miR-184 in tongue SCC cell lines could reduce cell proliferation rate. Down-regulation of c-Myc was observed in two cell lines in response to miR-184 inhibitor. Suppressing miR-184 could induce apoptosis in all three cell lines. Plasma miR-184 levels were significantly higher in tongue SCC patients in comparison with normal individuals, and the levels were significantly reduced after surgical removal of the primary tumors.


Overexpression of miR-184 might play an oncogenic role in the antiapoptotic and proliferative processes of tongue SCC. In addition, plasma miR-184 levels were associated with the presence of primary tumor. Further studies on the aberrantly expressed miRNAs in tongue SCC as well as using plasma miRNAs as novel tumor markers are warranted.

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