Previous studies have indicated that the deregulation of microRNAs contributes to tumorigenesis. Misregulation of microRNA-520e (miR-520e) has been observed in various types of cancer. However, the expression profile and biological function of miR-520e in breast cancer remains largely unknown. The present study demonstrated that miR-520e expression was significantly increased in breast cancer tissues compared with adjacent non-cancerous breast tissues in 21 patients, as revealed by reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Furthermore, the proliferation capacity of breast cancer cells was markedly enhanced by the introduction of miR-520e in vitro using a cell counting kit-8 assay. The present study also revealed that the overexpression of miR-520e could suppress breast cancer cell apoptosis, revealed using Annexin V/propidium iodide double staining and flow cytometry analysis. In addition, the ectopic expression of miR-520e promoted the migration of breast cancer cells in vitro, as demonstrated by a Transwell assay. Overall, the findings of the present study highlight an important role for miR-520e in breast cancer development and in the molecular etiology of breast cancer, which indicates the potential application of miR-520e in cancer therapy.
Keywords: apoptosis; breast cancer; miRNA-520e; migration; proliferation.