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Brain Res. 2009 May 7;1269:158-65. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2009.02.037. Epub 2009 Mar 3.

microRNA-146b inhibits glioma cell migration and invasion by targeting MMPs.

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Integrative Chemical Biology Laboratory, Institute of Molecular Technology, Department of Chemistry, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, China.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of endogenous, small non-protein coding single-stranded RNA molecules, which are crucial post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression. Previous studies have shown that miRNAs participate in a wide range of biological functions and play important roles in various human diseases including glioma. However, the role of miRNAs in mediating glioblastoma cell migration and invasion has not been elucidated. Using miRNA microarray, we identified miR-146b as one of the miRNAs that is significantly dysregulated in human glioblastoma tissue. We showed that miR-146b overexpression by transfection with the precursor miR-146b, or knock-down by Locked Nucleic Acid (LNA)-modified anti-miR-146b, has no effect on the growth of human glioblastoma U373 cells. However, precursor miR-146b transfection significantly reduced the migration and invasion of U373 cells, while LNA-anti-miR-146b transfection generated the opposite result. Furthermore, we discovered that a matrix metalloproteinase gene, MMP16, is one of the downstream targets of miR-146b. Taken together, our findings suggest that miR-146b is involved in glioma cell migration and invasion by targeting MMPs, and implicate miR-146b as a metastasis-inhibiting miRNA in glioma.

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