To clarify the role of micro (mi) RNAs in gastric carcinogenesis, we studied the expression and function of miRNAs in gastric carcinoma (GC) cells. Initially, we performed microarray analysis using total RNA from 3 human GC cell lines and noncancerous gastric tissue. Among the downregulated miRNAs in GC cells, miR-212 expression was decreased in all 8 GC cell lines examined and a significant decrease of miR-212 expression in human primary GC tissues was also observed in 6 of 11 cases. Transfection of the precursor miR-212 molecule induced decreased growth of 3 GC cell lines. Using 3 different databases, methyl-CpG-binding protein MeCP2 was postulated to be a target of miR-212. As seen on reporter assaying, miR-212 repressed the construct with the MECP2 3'-UTR. Ectopic expression of miR-212 repressed expression of the MeCP2 protein but not the MECP2 mRNA level. These data suggest that downregulation of miR-212 may be related to gastric carcinogenesis through its target genes, such as MECP2.