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Int J Biol Sci. 2020 Jan 14;16(4):694-707. doi: 10.7150/ijbs.36595. eCollection 2020.

Epstein-Barr virus miR-BART1-3p suppresses apoptosis and promotes migration of gastric carcinoma cells by targeting DAB2.

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Department of Medical Life Sciences, Department of Biomedicine & Health Sciences, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


Although Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is known to encode over 40 different miRNAs of its own, the roles of most EBV miRNAs remain unknown. Disabled homolog 2 (DAB2) is a putative tumor suppressor, but its role in gastric carcinoma (GC), especially in EBV-associated GC, needs to be clarified. Our qRT-PCR and mRNA microarray results showed that DAB2 expression was down-regulated in EBV-positive GC cells compared to EBV-negative cells. Four BART miRNAs that might target DAB2 were predicted, and we found, using a luciferase reporter assay, that miR-BART1-3p directly targeted the 3'-UTR of DAB2. The miR-BART1-3p transfection decreased DAB2 expression at both mRNA and protein levels, while transfection of an inhibitor of miR-BART1-3p, miR-BART1-3p(i), increased DAB2 expression. In addition, miR-BART1-3p as well as siDAB2 increased migration and decreased apoptosis. Meanwhile, miR-BART1-3p(i) or pcDNA3.1-DAB2 transfection decreased migration and increased apoptosis in EBV-infected GC cells. Furthermore, decreased migration by miR-BART1-3p(i) was abrogated by co-transfected siDAB2, while decreased migration by miR-BART1-3p(i) was further suppressed by a co-transfected DAB2 over-expression vector. Our data suggest that miR-BART1-3p plays an important role in the tumorigenesis of EBV-associated GC by directly targeting DAB2.


BART miRNA; DAB2; Epstein-Barr virus; cell migration; cell proliferation

Conflict of interest statement

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interest exists.

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