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J Mol Med (Berl). 2009 Jan;87(1):43-51. doi: 10.1007/s00109-008-0403-6. Epub 2008 Sep 23.

MicroRNA-128 inhibits glioma cells proliferation by targeting transcription factor E2F3a.

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  • 1The National Laboratory of Medical Molecular Biology, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, 100005, China.


MicroRNAs are approximately 21nt single-stranded RNAs and function as regulators of gene expression. Previous studies have shown that microRNAs play crucial roles in tumorigenesis by targeting the mRNAs of oncogenes or tumor suppressors. Here we show that brain-enriched miR-128 is down-regulated in glioma tissues and cell lines when compared to normal brain tissues. Overexpression of miR-128 in glioma cells inhibited cell proliferation. A bioinformatics search revealed a conserved target site within the 3'untranslated region (UTR) of E2F3a, a transcription factor that regulates cell cycle progression. The protein levels of E2F3a in gliomas and normal brain tissues were negatively correlated to the expression levels of miR-128 in these tissues. Overexpression of miR-128 suppressed a luciferase-reporter containing the E2F3a-3'UTR and reduced the level of E2F3a protein in T98G cells. Moreover, knocking down of E2F3a had similar effect as overexpression of miR-128, and overexpression of E2F3a can partly rescue the proliferation inhibition caused by miR-128. Taken together, our study demonstrates that miR-128 can inhibit proliferation of glioma cells through one of its targets, E2F3a.

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