MicroRNA-146a acts as a metastasis suppressor in gastric cancer by targeting WASF2

Cancer Lett. 2013 Jul 10;335(1):219-24. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2013.02.031. Epub 2013 Feb 19.


Previous studies have shown that miR-146a acts as either an oncogene or a tumor suppressor in various cancers. In this study, we investigated the role of miR-146a in gastric cancer cells and its potential target genes. The results showed that miR-146a expression correlated inversely with WASF2 protein expression in gastric cancer cell lines. Overexpression of miR-146a suppressed the migration and invasion of gastric cancer cells, and also the protein level of WASF2. WASF2 was shown to be a direct target gene of miR-146a by luciferase assays. Restoration of WASF2 promoted the migration and invasion of gastric cancer cells, similar to that mediated by miR-146a inhibition. This study has identified an onco-suppressive role of miR-146a in gastric cancer cells by its reduction of WASF2 expression. The newly identified miR-146a/WASF2 axis partially reveals the molecular mechanism underlying the migration and invasion of gastric cancer cells and represents a new potential therapeutic target for gastric cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3' Untranslated Regions
  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • RNA Interference
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein Family / genetics*
  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein Family / metabolism
  • rho-Associated Kinases / genetics
  • rho-Associated Kinases / metabolism


  • 3' Untranslated Regions
  • MIRN146 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs
  • WASF2 protein, human
  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein Family
  • ROCK1 protein, human
  • rho-Associated Kinases