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Cancer Biol Ther. 2016;17(1):104-13. doi: 10.1080/15384047.2015.1108496.

Long noncoding RNA MEG3 is downregulated in cervical cancer and affects cell proliferation and apoptosis by regulating miR-21.

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a Department of Gynecological Oncology, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University , 107 Yan Jiang West Road, Guangzhou 510120 , People's Republic of China.
b Xiamen Cancer Center, Department of Gynecological Oncology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xiamen University , Xiamen 361003 , People's Republic of China.


Recent research has found that long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) were involved in various human cancers. However, the role of these lncRNAs in cervical cancer remains unexplored. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the biological function of maternally expressed gene 3 (MEG3), a cancer-related lncRNA, and its underlying mechanism in cervical cancer. In this study, MEG3 expression of 108 patients' cervical cancer tissues and adjacent normal tissues was detected by quantitative real-time PCR analysis (qRT-PCR), and the functional effect of MEG3 was determined in vitro assays. We observed that MEG3 was downregulated in cervical cancer tissues, compared to the adjacent normal tissues, and was negatively related with FIGO stages, tumor size, lymphatic metastasis, HR-HPV infection and the expression of homo sapiens microRNA-21 (miR-21). Furthermore, we focused on the function and molecular mechanism of MEG3, finding that overexpression of MEG3 reduced the level of miR-21-5p expression, causing inhibition of proliferation and increased apoptosis in cervical cancer cells. In summary, our findings indicate that MEG3 function as a tumor suppressor by regulating miR-21-5p, resulting in the inhibition of tumor growth in cervical cancer. As a result, this study improves our understanding of the function of MEG3 in cervical cancer and will help to provide new potential target sites for cervical cancer treatment.


Apoptosis; MEG3; cervical cancer; long noncoding RNA; miR-21; p53; proliferation

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