High miR-196a levels promote the oncogenic phenotype of colorectal cancer cells

World J Gastroenterol. 2009 May 7;15(17):2089-96. doi: 10.3748/wjg.15.2089.


Aim: To analyze the relevance of the microRNA miR-196a for colorectal oncogenesis.

Methods: The impact of miR-196a on the restriction targets HoxA7, HoxB8, HoxC8 and HoxD8 was analyzed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) after transient transfection of SW480 cancer cells. The miR-196a transcription profile in colorectal cancer samples, mucosa samples and diverse cancer cell lines was quantified by RT-PCR. Transiently miR-196a-transfected colorectal cancer cells were used for diverse functional assays in vitro and for a xenograft lung metastasis model in vivo.

Results: HoxA7, HoxB8, HoxC8 and HoxD8 were restricted by miR-196a in a dose-dependent and gene-specific manner. High levels of miR-196a activated the AKT signaling pathway as indicated by increased phosphorylation of AKT. In addition, high levels of miR-196a promoted cancer cell detachment, migration, invasion and chemosensitivity towards platin derivatives but did not impact on proliferation or apoptosis. Furthermore, miR-196a increased the development of lung metastases in mice after tail vein injection.

Conclusion: miR-196a exerts a pro-oncogenic influence in colorectal cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion / physiology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Colon / anatomy & histology
  • Colon / physiology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Colorectal Neoplasms* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Phenotype*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Transplantation, Heterologous


  • MIRN196 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs