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Oncotarget. 2016 Mar 22;7(12):15173-86. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.7908.

MiR-26a and miR-144 inhibit proliferation and metastasis of esophageal squamous cell cancer by inhibiting cyclooxygenase-2.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Beijing Friendship Hospital, Capital Medical University, National Clinical Research Center for Digestive Disease, Beijing Key Laboratory for Precancerous Lesion of Digestive Diseases, Beijing, China.
Department of Critical Care Medicine, Beijing Friendship Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.


The altered expression of miRNAs is involved in carcinogenesis of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), but whether miRNAs regulate COX-2 expression in ESCC is not clear. To this end, the expression levels of miR-26a and miR-144 in ESCC clinical tissues and cell lines were investigated by qRT-PCR. COX-2 and PEG2 were quantified by western blot and ELISA. Decrease in miR-26a and miR-144 expression in ESCC was found by a comparison between 30 pairs of ESCC tumor and adjacent normal tissues as well as in 11 ESCC cell lines (P < 0.001). Co-transfection of miR-26a and miR-144 in ESCC cell lines more significantly suppressed cell proliferation, migration, and invasion than did either miR-26a or miR-144 alone (all P < 0.001), as shown by assays of CCK8, migration and invasion and flow cytometry. The inhibitory effect of these two miRNAs in vivo was also verified in nude mice xenograft models. COX-2 was confirmed as a target of miR-26a and miR-144. In conclusion, miR-26a and miR-144 expression is downregulated in ESCC. Co-expression of miR-26a and miR-144 in ESCC cells resulted in inhibition of proliferation and metastasis in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that targeting COX-2 may be the mechanism of these two miRNAs.


cyclooxygenase-2; esophageal squamous cell cancer; miR-144; miR-26a; proliferation and metastasis

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