MiR-21 down-regulation suppresses cell growth, invasion and induces cell apoptosis by targeting FASL, TIMP3, and RECK genes in esophageal carcinoma

Dig Dis Sci. 2013 Jul;58(7):1863-70. doi: 10.1007/s10620-013-2612-2. Epub 2013 Mar 17.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Apoptosis
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Down-Regulation
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • Fas Ligand Protein / metabolism*
  • Female
  • GPI-Linked Proteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • MicroRNAs / antagonists & inhibitors
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-3 / metabolism*
  • Up-Regulation


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • FASLG protein, human
  • Fas Ligand Protein
  • GPI-Linked Proteins
  • MIRN21 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs
  • RECK protein, human
  • TIMP3 protein, human
  • Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-3