MicroRNA-138 inhibits proliferation, migration and invasion through targeting hTERT in cervical cancer

Oncol Lett. 2016 Nov;12(5):3633-3639. doi: 10.3892/ol.2016.5038. Epub 2016 Aug 23.


A growing body of evidence suggests that microRNA-138 (miR-138) functions as a tumor suppressor, and is involved in tumor initiation, development and metastasis in certain types of human cancers. However, the function and underlying molecular mechanism of miR-138 in cervical cancer remains unclear. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to investigate the clinical significance of miR-138 expression in cervical cancer, and to evaluate its role and underlying mechanisms in cervical cancer. The present study indicated that miR-138 expression was significantly downregulated in cervical cancer tissues and cell lines, and that the low miR-138 expression was negatively associated with advanced FIGO stage and lymph node metastasis (P<0.01). Functional analyses indicated that the overexpression of miR-138 in cervical cancer cells inhibited cell proliferation, migration and invasion, induced cell apoptosis in vitro, and suppressed tumor growth in a nude mice model. Luciferase reporter assays confirmed that human telomerase reverse transcriptase was a novel target gene of miR-138. The findings of the present study suggested that miR-138 could be a potential candidate for cervical cancer therapeutics.

Keywords: cervical cancer; human telomerase reverse transcriptase; microRNA-138; microRNAs.