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Dig Dis Sci. 2014 Aug;59(8):1743-53. doi: 10.1007/s10620-014-3087-5. Epub 2014 Mar 13.

miR-638 suppresses cell proliferation in gastric cancer by targeting Sp2.

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Department of Genetics and Cell Biology, Environment and Genes Related to Diseases Key Laboratory of Education Ministry, College of Medicine, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, 710061, People's Republic of China,



MicroRNAs play important roles in the development and progression of various cancers. Recent studies have shown that miR-638 was downregulated in several tumors; however, its role in gastric cancer (GC) has not been investigated in detail.


The purpose of this study was to determine the role of miR-638 and to elucidate its regulatory mechanism in GC.


The expression levels of miR-638 and specificity protein 2 (Sp2) were detected by real-time PCR and Western blotting in GC. After pcDNA6.2-GW/EmGFP-miR-638 vector, miR-638 inhibitor and Sp2-siRNA transfection, the AGS cell proliferation was investigated by MTT assay and cell cycle, and apoptosis was detected using the Annexin V/PI. In addition, the regulation of Sp2 by miR-638 was evaluated by real-time RT-PCR, Western blot and luciferase reporter assays; cyclin D1 expression was measured by Western blotting.


The expression of miR-638 is dramatically down-regulated and Sp2 expression is remarkably up-regulated in GC tissues. Luciferase assays revealed that miR-638 inhibited Sp2 expression by targeting the 3'-UTR of Sp2 mRNA. Overexpression of miR-638 and Sp2-siRNA reduced Sp2 expression at both the mRNA and protein levels in vitro, and inhibition of miR-638 increased Sp2 expression. Moreover, we found that miR-638 overexpression and Sp2-siRNA markedly suppressed cell proliferation with decreasing expression of cyclin D1 and inducing G1-phase cell-cycle arrest in vitro; inhibition of miR-638 significantly promoted cell proliferation by increasing expression of cyclin D1 and leading more cells into the S and G2/M phase.


Our results demonstrated that miR-638 suppressed GC cell proliferation by targeting Sp2 with influence on the expression of cyclin D1. We suggest that miR-638 might be a candidate predictor or an anticancer therapeutic target for GC patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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