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Br J Cancer. 2012 Jul 10;107(2):352-9. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2012.251. Epub 2012 Jun 7.

miR-21, miR-17 and miR-19a induced by phosphatase of regenerating liver-3 promote the proliferation and metastasis of colon cancer.

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Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Sun-Yat-Sen Memorial Hospital, Sun-Yat-Sen University, 107 Yanjiang West Road, Guangzhou 510120, China.



Phosphatase of regenerating liver-3 (PRL-3) is an oncogene known to promote tumour metastasis, especially in colorectal cancer (CRC). Here, we demonstrate that the miR-21, miR-17 and miR-19a expressions induced by PRL-3 are involved in the proliferation and metastasis of colon cancer.


Microarray analysis and quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reactions (qRT-PCR) were used to investigate the changes in miRNA expression due to the overexpression of PRL-3. Transwell chamber invasion assays, CCK-8 proliferation assays and RNA interference assays were used to explore the effects of PRL-3 on miR-21, miR-17 and miR-19a expression in colon cancer cells. Immunohistochemistry and qRT-PCR were performed in colon cancer tissues to evaluate the expression of PRL-3, signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), miR-21, miR-17 and miR-19a.


Our study demonstrated that the overexpression of PRL-3 in colon cancer cells induced the expression of miR-21, miR-17 and miR-19a by activating STAT3. Subsequently, these microRNAs contributed to the increased proliferation and invasiveness of the colon cancer cells. Positive correlations between PRL-3 and these microRNAs were also observed in matched primary colon cancer tissues and metastatic lesions.


miR-21, miR-17 and miR-19a induced by PRL-3 contribute to the proliferation and invasion of colon cancer.

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