miR-203 Suppresses Bladder Cancer Cell Growth and Targets Twist1

Oncol Res. 2018 Sep 14;26(8):1155-1165. doi: 10.3727/096504017X15041934685237. Epub 2017 Sep 6.


miR-203 is an epigenetically silenced tumor-suppressive microRNA in tumors. This study was designed to investigate the effects of miR-203 on the proliferation, migration, invasion, and apoptosis of bladder cancer (BCa) cells. The expression levels of miR-203 in BCa tissues, normal adjacent tissues, and BCa cell lines were detected. BCa cells were transfected with miR-203 mimic and inhibitor to investigate the effect of miR-203 on cell functions and the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Cotransfection with miR-203 inhibitor and shRNA of the predicted target gene Twist1 (si-Twist1) was performed to investigate the target relationship of miR-203 and Twist1. The effects of knockdown of Twist1 on cell functions were also investigated. The expression of miR-203 was significantly reduced in BCa tissues and cells, in comparison with the control. miR-203 mimic significantly reduced cell viability, invasion, migration, and EMT, and enhanced cell apoptosis. On the contrary, miR-203 inhibitor showed the opposite results. However, the administration of si-Twist1 cancelled the effect of miR-203 inhibitor on cell proliferation, apoptosis, invasion, and migration. These demonstrated that miR-203 may function as a tumor-suppressive microRNA in BCa by negatively targeting Twist1. Both Twist1 and miR-203 might be explored as potential targets for studying the mechanism related to BCa pathogenesis and therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / genetics
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement / genetics
  • Cell Proliferation / genetics
  • Down-Regulation
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / antagonists & inhibitors
  • MicroRNAs / biosynthesis
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics*
  • RNA, Small Interfering / administration & dosage
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics
  • Transfection
  • Twist-Related Protein 1 / genetics*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / genetics
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / pathology


  • MIRN203 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • TWIST1 protein, human
  • Twist-Related Protein 1