MicroRNAs are small non-coding RNA molecules that play important roles in the multistep process of colorectal carcinoma (CRC) development. The present study evaluated the relationship between miR-1-1 and miR-133a-2 expression and DNA methylation, and its putative biological role in CRC. The results indicated that DNA methylation regulated the expression of the miR-1-1 and miR-133a-2 cluster in CRC cell lines. Expression of miR-1 and miR-133a was further evaluated in 64 paired tissue samples (CRC tumor and adjacent normal mucosa) using the stem-loop real-time polymerase chain reaction. The miR-1-133a cluster displayed significantly lower expression in CRC tissue compared to adjacent normal mucosa (P<0.001). The results also indicated frequent hypermethylation of the CpG islands upstream of miR-1-133a (54.6%). Liver metastatic tissues exhibited significantly lower miR-1 (P<0.001) and miR-133a (P<0.001) expression compared to adjacent normal mucosa. Expression of the miR-1-133a cluster inversely correlated with TAGLN2 in the tumor specimens. In conclusion, epigenetic repression of the miR-1-133a cluster may play a critical role in colorectal cancer metastasis by silencing TAGLN2.