Background: miR-21 is overexpressed in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and is thought to be correlated with the development of the cancer. The target gene of miR-21 including FASL, TIMP3 and RECK is revealed by researchers. miR-21 may be involved in the tumorgenesis of ESCC by targeting FASL, TIMP3 and RECK.
Aims: The purpose of this study was to explore the mechanism of miR-21 in the development of ESCC.
Methods: miR-21 expression in ESCC and the matched non-malignant adjacent tissues (NMATs) was examined by qRT-PCR. Cell growth, cell apoptosis and cell invasion ability of EC9706 and EC-1 cells was examined after the cells were transfected with miR-21 inhibitor. The potential target genes of miR-21 including FASL, TIMP3 and RECK were examined by western blot and Luciferase reporter assay.
Results: miR-21 expression was increased significantly in ESCC tissues compared with NMAT. miR-21 down-regulation inhibits cell growth, cell invasion and induces cells to apoptosis. FASL, TIMP3 and RECK are direct targets of miR-21.
Conclusions: miR-21 down-regulation inhibits cell growth, invasion and induces cells to apoptosis by targeting FASL, TIMP3 and RECK genes.