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Cell Physiol Biochem. 2017;43(6):2405-2419. doi: 10.1159/000484394. Epub 2017 Oct 27.

MicroRNA-30a-5p Inhibits the Growth of Renal Cell Carcinoma by Modulating GRP78 Expression.

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Department of Urology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China.
Department of Neurosurgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China.
Department of Urology, The Fourth Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China.
State Key Laboratory of Veterinary Biotechnology, Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Harbin, China.



MiR-30a-5p, a member of the microRNA-30 family (miR-30), is known to function as a tumor suppressor in several different cancers. However, the expression levels, biological function, and underlying mechanisms of miR-30a-5p in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) remain unclear. Glucose-regulated protein78 (GRP78) is a common cancer biomarker and promotes the growth and survival of cancer cells. The expression of GRP78 has been reported to be modulated by miR-30a in neurons. In this study, the expression profile of miR-30a-5p in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) and its effect on ccRCC through regulating GRP78 expression was investigated.


MiR-30a-5p expression was analyzed using bioinformatic software on open microarray datasets from the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO), and confirmed by quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) in ccRCC cell lines. Cell proliferation was investigated using CCK-8 and cell count assays. Western blotting, immunohistochemistry, luciferase reporter assays, and flow cytometry were employed to investigate the mechanisms of the effect of miR-30a-5p on ccRCC Results: MiR-30a-5p was down-regulated in ccRCC and related to the clinicopathological factors and prognosis of ccRCC. MiR-30a-5p was found to both suppress the growth of ccRCC cells and promote apoptosis of ccRCC cells in vitro. GRP78 was the direct target gene of miR-30a-5p, and the GRP78 expression was inversely correlated with the expression of miR-30a-5p in vivo and in vitro. The functional studies of GRP78 overexpression or knockdown demonstrated that GRP78 promoted proliferation and anti-apoptosis of ccRCC cells, and the oncogenic activity of GRP78 resulting in by miR-30a-5p overexpression.


MiR-30a-5p is a bona fide negative regulator of GRP78 expression, and the anti-tumor activity of miR-30a-5p in ccRCC is due at least in part to down-regulating GRP78 expression and modulating the unfolded protein response (UPR) pathway. Thus, miR-30-GRP78 interaction provides a novel therapeutic candidate target in ccRCC treatment.


ER stress; GRP78; MicroRNA-30a-5p; Renal cell carcinoma

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