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Cell Biosci. 2015 Sep 25;5:56. doi: 10.1186/s13578-015-0047-5. eCollection 2015.

MicroRNA-720 promotes in vitro cell migration by targeting Rab35 expression in cervical cancer cells.

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College of Life Sciences and State Key Laboratory of Virology, Wuhan University, 430072 Wuhan, People's Republic of China.
Department of Pathology, Zhongnan Hospital, Wuhan University, 430071 Wuhan, People's Republic of China.
School of Basic Medical Sciences, Wuhan University, 430071 Wuhan, People's Republic of China.
Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 430030 Wuhan, China.



MicroRNA-720 (miR-720), a nonclassical miRNA, is involved in the initiation and progression of several tumors. In our previous studies, miR-720 was shown to be significantly upregulated in cervical cancer tissues compared with normal cervical tissues. However, the precise biological functions of miR-720, and its molecular mechanisms of action, are still unknown.


Microarray expression profiles, luciferase reporter assays, and western blot assays were used to validate Rab35 as a target gene of miR-720 in HEK293T and HeLa cells. The regulation of Rab35 expression by miR-720 was assessed using qRT-PCR and western blot assays, and the effects of exogenous miR-720 and Rab35 on cell migration were evaluated in vitro using Transwell(®) assay, wound healing assay, and real-time analyses in HeLa cells. The influences of exogenous miR-720 on cell proliferation were evaluated in vitro by the MTT assay in HeLa cells. In addition, expression of E-cadherin and vimentin associated with epithelial-mesenchymal transition were also assessed using western blot analyses after transfection of miR-720 mimics and Rab35 expression vectors. The results showed that the small GTPase, Rab35, is a direct functional target of miR-720 in cervical cancer HeLa cells. By targeting Rab35, overexpression of miR-720 resulted in a decrease in E-cadherin expression and an increase in vimentin expression and finally led to promotion of HeLa cell migration. Furthermore, reintroduction of Rab35 3'-UTR(-) markedly reversed the induction of cell migration in miR-720-expressing HeLa cells.


The miR-720 promotes cell migration of HeLa cells by downregulating Rab35. The results show that miR-720 is a novel cell migration-associated gene in cervical cancer cells.


Cell migration; Cervical cancer cells; Rab35; miR-720

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